Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Commonwealth Games Boon For Overall Facelift of the City


Delhi is building an impressive infrastructure in the run-up to the Games but is struggling to address its power and water concerns. Times City concludes its Commonwealth stock-taking exercise with a final look at these two issues

This summer, as the mercury and consequently the demand for electricity soared, distribution companies (discoms) fell short by a massive margin in fulfilling the peak power requirements of Delhi, resulting in widespread protests. This has raised doubts over the power capital’s ability to host a power-packed event like the Commonwealth Games next year.

At a time when discoms are reluctant to buy expensive power to tide over the crisis, Delhi government is not taking chances. Against an anticipated power demand of about 4,000 MW in October next year, it has made arrangements for 5,600 MW. ‘‘We have entered into agreements for much more than the anticipated demand during the Games.

We have tie-ups with Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the Centre. New power stations are coming up in Bawana, Jhajjar and Dadri. Though some units of the Bawana project are running into delays, these will be covered by the first deadline of the commissioning of the first unit in March next year,’’ said Delhi power secretary Rajender Kumar.

The government also promises two sources of power for all the stadiums so that if one fails, a back-up is always ready. ‘‘A third back-up is also in place for stadium-backed agency,’’ said Kumar. Besides these, the existing systems are being strengthened and the Centre has already clarified that the power from its share of unallocated quota, almost 4,000 MW, will be reserved for Delhi from October to December 2010.

Delhi’s crucial projects for the Commonwealth Games:

Aravali Super Thermal Power Project, Jhajjar

Capacity | 1,500 MW

Delhi’s share | 750 MW

Congress president Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for this coal-based project in October last year. It will be a joint venture of NTPC, Delhi and Haryana governments. While NTPC will hold 51% stake, Delhi and Haryana will have 24.5% each.

The plant being constructed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) will have three units of 500 MW each. Delhi and Haryana will get 750MW each. The first unit of 500 MW is expected to be commissioned by June 2010 out of which Delhi will get 250 MW. The remaining two units are running into delay and while the second unit is expected to start by September-October, the third will only be commissioned by December 2010. ‘‘The delay is due to boiler supply and site works,’’ said an official.

But officials insisted the delay would not hinder their plans. ‘‘Up to 70% work on the first unit has been completed. PGCL will construct a dedicated line for transmitting power from Jhajjar to Mundka from where Delhi Transco take over,’’ said a power department official.

Dadri Thermal Power Station

Capacity | 980 MW

Delhi’s share | 900 MW


Delhi government signed a MoU with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for expansion of the Dadri Thermal Power Station with a commitment for 90% power share. The transmission line of this power station will also be laid by NTPC as the Electricity Act states that the responsibility lies with the generating company.

‘‘The first unit of this plant of 450 MW will be commissioned by November this year, which is actually ahead of schedule. The second unit of 500 MW is expected to be ready by February-March 2010,’’ said a senior official.

Pragati Phase III, Bawana

Capacity | 1,500 MW

Delhi’s share | 950 MW


This gas-based project is said to be running behind schedule but power department officials deny this. Awarded mega-power status certificate, the plant is entitled to get a waiver of Customs duty on imported plant and machinery. It will also get excise duty relief on indigenous plant and equipment, resulting in a saving of nearly Rs 200 crore on project cost.

It has six units four are gas based while two are steam based. ‘‘The first 250 MW unit is expected to be commissioned by March next year, while the other units would follow in May and August. But the plant has run into a three-month delay and the first unit will not be commissioned before June 2010. By the Games, four units will be commissioned,’’ said a source.

The project is critical for meeting the demand during the Games. The government has been projecting this project as the answer to Delhi’s power woes.

Damodar Valley Corporation

Capacity | 2,500 MW

Delhi’s share | 2,500 MW


It is expected to supply 2,300 MW by October 2010. But there has been some delay in the commissioning of units 7 and 8. According to Delhi government, power from DVC will flow to the city in phases and by 2012, Delhi will get up to 8,500 MW. Recently, Damodar Valley Corporation in Jharkhand had failed to deliver the promised power to Delhi on time. This has led to a massive shortage during peak summer months and long power cuts in the city.

What Delhi is doing to augment its supply?

Anticipated demand in Oct 2010 4,000 MW

Government’s arrangement for up to 6,000 MW

Crucial projects for 2010

  • Aravali super thermal project
  • Pragati phase III (Bawana)
  • Dadri Thermal power plant
  • Damodar Valley Corporation

What’s more?

4000 MW from the central unallocated quota two independent sources for all stadiums 108 MW from NDPL’s pilot power station, to be commissioned by June 2010 strengthening of transmission network and upgrading streetlights Agreements with Chamera (NHPC), Koldam HEP (NTPC)

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