Water cuts on, power demand hits new high
As the city grappled on Friday with a heatwave and a power demand that broke all records, residents of a village in Alipur damaged two low-floor DTC buses and some private vehicles in protest against scarcity of water.
Residents threw stones at vehicles and disrupted traffic for two hours on the highway connecting Delhi and Chandigarh. Local politicians also joined the protest.
This came on a day when the mercury hovered at 43 degrees Celsius and power demand recorded a new high of 5,265 MW, causing outages — ranging from one to four hours — across East, West, South and North Delhi. The previous highest demand was recorded on June 1 when it soared to 5,178 MW.
The Power department, however, claimed that the distribution companies were able to meet the demand and the outages in the city were the result of local faults.
Power Minister Haroon Yusuf on Thursday pulled up private distribution companies for failing to improve the supply and upgrade its grievance redressal mechanism. In view of the demand increasing at a rate of around eight per cent over the past decade, the government had predicted that it could breach the 5,500-MW mark this summer.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government's stalemate with Haryana over water-sharing continued, though Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said she would approach the Centre to intervene in the matter. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) was forced to take drastic measures to cope with the crisis. Officials said regulations have been put in place at treatment plants in Chandrawal and Wazirabad, which receive water from the Wazirabad pond.
"This has been done to ensure that areas surrounding the affected plants get water on alternate days. We are also regulating 'direct tapping' of water to under five hours," Debashree Mukherjee, DJB CEO, said.
Owing to supply shortage from Haryana, production at the Haiderpur treatment plant had gone down by 15 million gallons daily, affecting areas in West, Northwest and Southwest Delhi.
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