New Delhi, Soumik Mukherjee(FP): Despite a promise by Power minister Piyush Goyal to increase Delhi’s power capacity by 9 pm on Tuesday by adding 400 MW to the power grid, blackouts continued unabated in the national capital leading to violent protests in some areas of the city.
CNN-IBN reported that protesters in Jaffrabad turned violent, with furious citizens engaging in vandalism, and setting fire to a bus. Earlier Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who blamed an ‘insensitive’ Congress government for neglecting the power sector, had said that he would procure gas from the Bawana-Rohini line to allow the power grid to generate an additional 400 MW of power.
He promised that the situation would be alleviated by 9pm and said that the city would have to bear with planned outages and rolling blackouts until transmission lines damaged by a storm on 30 May were restored. He said that an internal deadline of ten days had been set for the restoration of the transmission lines. Meanwhile for the suffering citizens of Delhi, words and promises have meant little in the face of little to no action.
“I don’t think lack of investment in transmitters are the problem. After all, this problem has persisted for such a long time. You can’t give such reasons for this problem,” said one resident of east Delhi to CNN-IBN. “We have problems sleeping at night…Last night, there was a power cut for one hour from 10.30 to 11.30. Earlier though, the power has gone off for longer times. It has also been more frequent,” said another.
Meanwhile along with the mercury, the political blame game in the city has also heated up.
The Congress government is solely responsible for the current power crisis. The day they privatised the distribution of power, the crisis started. First they committed scams in collaboration with distribution companies. Then they continued the scams one after another. They were in league with these companies,” said senior BJP leader and MLA from Janakpuri Jagdish Mukhi to Firstpost. Accusing the BJP of politicising the crisis by pointing fingers at the Dikshit government, Mukesh Sharma, spokesperson for the Delhi Congress said, “Why is the BJP not sitting in dharna when all of Delhi is suffering from power cuts. Are these the “ache din” the BJP was talking about?
Every summer, Delhi gets extra power allocation. Why is the central government not doing that? The government is telling lies by blaming the crisis on transmission problems. This is a conspiracy to increase the electricity rates in Delhi.” The Aam Aadmi Party has also seen the crisis as a political opportunity. “the Aam Aadmi Party has found an opening to boost its flagging fortunes in the capital city.
A systematic campaign will hit the roads soon, in typical AAP-style, with a view to spreading awareness on the power companies, the discoms and the generators, and their alleged nexus in the power trade,” reports Firstpost’s Soumik Mukherjee. [Source: FP]