NEW DELHI: Apiquant situation has arisen in the Capital with a newly-created entity, that includes representatives of private power distribution companies, being unable to take over the role of Delhi Transco Ltd, the existing power transmission company.
The handover was to start on Monday.
As a result, plans to procure power through this entity, Delhi Power Procurement Group (DPPG), are being delayed by six months.
The group was created so that power distribution companies, several of whom are privately owned, will be able to leverage their collective buying power to procure cheaper power. At the same time, it also absolved the Delhi government from the responsibility of power management, especially in summer. All these plans now stand pushed back.
“The 2 April date is not feasible and we need at least six months for things to fall into place. Not even a single power purchase agreement (PPA) has been signed till now,” said a distribution company executive associated with the process.
Delhi has five power distribution licensees: Anil Ambani-owned BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL), BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL), Tata-owned New Delhi Power Ltd (NDPL), New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Military Engineering Services (for Delhi Cantonment).
The power demand in the city is expected to go up to 4,100MW this summer compared with 3,000MW last year. Of the total power needed in Delhi, only 995MW is generated by the power stations owned by the Delhi government and the balance will have to be procured from elsewhere.
The creation of DPPG was part of the electricity reforms initiated in the wake of the passing of the Electricty Act, 2003.
By introducing private players and breaking the state monopoly, it was hoped that not only would the quality of service improve, but the distribution losses, currently estimated at 35%, would reduce.
Even after the power distribution companies were privatized, the power for Delhi was procured by government-owned DTL. But, beginning this year, DPPL was to take over these functions for a period of two years after which Delhi’s own additional power plants would be ready to meet the city’s demand. This was done through setting up DPPG, comprising representatives of power distribution companies and DTL.
It has become clear now that the group is not equipped to take care of the power procurement coordination functions as the existing PPAs have not been transferred by DTL. Officials of that company were not willing to give a deadline as to when this transfer would take place.
Until DPPG is in a position to fully discharge its duties, DTL will continue to procure power and supply it to the distribution companies.
Still, “now we cannot be blamed if there is a power crisis in the city,” said a DTL executive, ahead of what is increasingly looking like a summer of passing the blame.