Long power cuts: Dikshit cracks the whip on BSES discoms

As the city continued to reel under long power cuts, Sheila Dikshit sternly warned BSES discoms.

New Delhi: As the city continued to reel under long power cuts, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday sternly warned BSES discoms, which supply electricity in 70 per cent of areas, of improving its performance immediately or face punitive action.

In a meeting with BSES chairman Lalit Jalan, Dikshit said her government was not going to "tolerate inefficiency and insensitivity" of the two discoms towards the consumers.

"The government is deeply concerned over outages in various parts coming under the jurisdiction of BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd," Dikshit said in the meeting.

Power Minister Haroon Yusuf, Principal Secretary (Power) Shakti Sinha and CEOs of BRPL and BYPL also attended the meeting.

Officials who attended the meeting said the BSES chairman has been asked to bring improvement and efficiency in its power distribution network.

"The consumers are more interested in round-the-clock power supply than clarifications from the BSES. They are facing the hardship due to outages in sweltering heat," the officials quoted Dikshit as saying.

They said Dikshit told Jalan that her government would not tolerate any outages as Delhi has sufficient power available to meet the demand.

Last month, Dikshit had written a letter to Chairman of Reliance Infrastructure Anil Ambani asking him to take steps to "rectify" the problem and ensure round-the-clock power supply in the city. The Reliance Infrastructure runs the two BSES discoms.

In the letter, she had also sought payment of dues to the tune of Rs 3,337 crore by BSES discoms to two Delhi government-run power generation and transmission companies.

When asked about Aam Aadmi Party targeting her government for power tariff hike, the Chief Minister said the rates are going up as cost of power production has increased significantly in the last few years.

"Price of coal is going up and that is why the cost of power production is also rising. Because of the market situation, the cost of power has increased. Nobody talks of power tariff in UP and Haryana. The power tariff was hiked in UP recently, but nobody talked about it," Dikshit told reporters.

The officials said Dikshit told the BSES chairman that consumers are suffering due to "managerial slackness" of the two discoms as their grievance redressal system was also not upto the mark. She said prior information must be provided to consumers about any scheduled load shedding.

"Jalan gave assurance of an immediate action to improve the distribution network," the officials said.