Sheila Dikshit pulls up discoms for outages

Expressing her displeasure over power outages in the national capital even during the winter, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday warned power distribution companies (discoms) that such outages would "no longer be tolerated". Ordering all discoms to complete capacity additions by February, Dikshit said the government would want to conduct a social audit of the functionality of streetlights in the city.

She said the recent power outages during the winter "exposed" the claims of discoms of suitable tie-ups to requisition additional power when required. "The city government generally faces the public's ire during unscheduled power cuts and the discoms are not in the habit of giving any explanation to the consumers during outages. It has also been observed that the senior officers in discoms remain unavailable during crisis. It is time for them to perform or face the music," Dikshit said.

Chairing a meeting to discuss an action plan for uninterrupted power supply in Delhi, Dikshit instructed the discoms and Delhi Transco Limited to complete their capacity additions by February. "They were told to strictly adhere to the deadline, failing which the situation may become unmanageable during the summer. Outages during extreme summer will not be tolerated and the city government will not accept any excuse at that stage," Dikshit said.

Chief Secretary D M Spolia and Power Secretary Shakti Sinha have also been directed to monitor the power situation regularly.

Taking note of dysfunctional streetlights, Dikshit also mooted a social audit of streetlights. "It is now the sole responsibility of the discoms to keep Delhi's roads well-illuminated as world-class infrastructure is in place. The discoms must concentrate on its proper upkeep and maintenance," she said.

The Chief Minister said she would review the situation next month to assess the extent of improvement.

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