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Minister orders more gas for Delhi power units as mercury heads for 46°C, shortfall for 500mw

New Delhi, Jun 10 (Agencies): Utilities in Delhi will get extra natural gas to generate more electricity and help the national capital tide over a heat wave that struck after a weekend storm disrupted transmission lines bringing power from distant places.

While the temperature is expected to soar to 46 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, Delhi's requires 5,800mw of power against which availability is 5,300mw.

Government-owned NTPC Ltd will step up gas supplies to the Bawana project in Delhi, which has been generating only around 290mw against its capacity of 1500mw.

GAIL India Ltd, another government-owned company, will re-route natural gas allocated to the now-shut Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra to units in Delhi to help them generate an additional 218mw.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal also promised that the Bawana-Rohini power transmission line, which was damaged by the storm in the capital and adjoining states on May 30, would be restored by Tuesday night.

”Hopefully, we will be able to meet the peak demand of today,” he added. All other transmission lines will be repaired in the next 15 days, he said.

Goyal announced the decisions here after a two-hour meeting with Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

Goyal said getting power from outside Delhi to supplement electricity generation cannot be done due to inadequate transmission lines.

Delhi can absorb only 400 MW, he said, adding that if a better transmission network had been built over the past 10 years, fuel could have been provided for producing an additional 1,100mw.

Power Grid Corporation of India, the central transmission utility, is working to restore three transmission towers within the next seven days, which will benefit the east Delhi areas.

”BSES and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, the two discoms in Delhi, have been instructed to become more responsive to power complaints,” Goyal said, adding that all their offices will work 24x7 till the power crisis ends.

The discoms will provide a three-day schedule of planned outages and issue a daily bulletin of the electricity situation in the capital.

The national capital is battling a power crisis amid acute temperatures. The maximum is expected to climb to about 46 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, according to the Met department.

On Monday, the maximum was 45.5 degrees Celsius, the highest level for June in 10 years.