Delhi Faces Power Outages Amid Scorching Heatwave and Water Crisis

The outage was reported to be triggered by a fire at a power grid in Mandola, Uttar Pradesh, which supplies 1,500 megawatts of electricity to Delhi, according to the Delhi Power Minister, Atishi.

Several parts of the Capital city of India, Delhi, experienced extensive power cuts on Tuesday afternoon, posing to be new challenges that the city faced amidst the ongoing chaos of the unprecedented scorching heatwave and a severe water crisis. The outage was reported to be triggered by a fire at a power grid in Mandola, Uttar Pradesh, which supplies 1,500 megawatts of electricity to Delhi, according to the Delhi Power Minister, Atishi.

The temperature in Delhi soared to around 42 degrees Celsius today, compounding the difficulties faced by residents. “There has been a major power cut in many parts of Delhi since 2:11 PM today. A power grid in Mandola, UP, which supplies 1,500 MW of electricity to Delhi, has caught fire. We are linking it to our other power sources,” Atishi stated.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Atishi said, “I will seek an appointment with the new Union Power Minister today since the country’s power transmission is run by the central government. It is worrying that the national-level power infrastructure has come to a standstill today. The failure of the national grid in the country’s capital is quite concerning.”

The power cuts have affected large swathes of Delhi, including areas like ITO, Laxmi Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Jamia, Narela, Model Town, Rohini, Kashmere Gate, Civil Lines, Mukherjee Nagar, Jahangirpuri, Sarita Vihar, and Sukhdev Vihar. Residents had to endure the sweltering heat without fans and air conditioning. Additionally, other conveniences like lifts and escalators were inoperative during the outage.

Sanjay Gupta from Model Town described the ordeal: “Several blocks of Model Town had power failure for an hour. The RWA WhatsApp groups started buzzing. Even lifts were out of operation, making it especially difficult for old people to go out or come home.”

BS Vohra, who heads the East Delhi RWAs Joint Front, said there was no electricity in his area for over an hour and a half. “The situation has been bad in the past week and worsened today. Both of my daughters are studying for their exams and it was tough for them without electricity.”

Social media was flooded with posts from frustrated residents. One user from East Delhi’s Vivek Vihar wrote, “No electricity in east Delhi Vivek Vihar. Please resolve the issue. This season is already at its peak. Hard to tolerate.”

Another from Yamuna Vihar C2 block posted, “Dear BSES, electricity is not available in the Yamuna Vihar C2 block for two hours. It is Delhi. Please do not take revenge on us. Why is electricity not available for two hours?”

While a third user wrote, “No electricity in IP Extn Delhi 110092 for the last more than 40 minutes,” expressing their struggle against the scorching heat.

To all the complaints directed at the BSES, Delhi, the authorities were quick to respond to the tweets. their response read, “Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Please provide your CA number & contact details in order to assist you further.”

The power disruptions exacerbated traffic conditions as well. Traffic lights were out at key intersections, including ITO, Krishna Nagar, East Azad Nagar, Bihari Colony, and GTB Enclave, causing significant traffic jams. A traffic officer reported that the outage from 2:10 PM to 3:45 PM affected signals at these critical junctions. Traffic personnel managed the intersections manually, ensuring a smooth flow and avoiding major congestion.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Centre-appointed Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, VK Saxena, have been at odds recently over the acute water crisis. The crisis worsened after AAP accused Haryana of not releasing Delhi’s share of water. Saxena met with AAP ministers to address the issue and urged them to avoid engaging in a blame game with Haryana.

Delhi’s power infrastructure relies heavily on electricity sourced from other states through the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). The power failure has raised serious concerns about the national power infrastructure’s reliability. “Very little electricity is produced in Delhi, so we buy electricity from other states. It is very worrying that today the national power infrastructure collapsed,” Atishi emphasized.

Discom Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, which provides power in north Delhi, claimed it swiftly restored electricity to affected homes. The company stated that the load shedding of 440MW affected four lakh consumers, starting at 2:11 PM. “Almost immediately, alternate supply was arranged from other grids and supply restoration started by 2:58 PM,” the company said in a statement.

The India Meteorological Department has forecasted that the heatwave conditions will continue in most parts of Delhi, with temperatures expected to soar above 43 degrees Celsius in the coming days. The combination of extreme heat, water shortages, and power outages presents a formidable challenge for the city’s residents and authorities alike.

Also read: Delhi Water Crisis Sparks Political Turmoil as Allegations Fly Between AAP and BJP