Outages short-circuit media briefing on power ministry’s ‘achievements’

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Meant to be an opportunity to highlight the power ministry’s “achievements” in the last two years, the press conference of union minister Piyush Goyal here on Friday was short-circuited by repeated outages.

Goyal sought to blame the power breakdowns on “slowing down of works” put in place in 2014 to ensure that outages were prevented in the national capital.

“The speed of works for implementing our plans in Delhi — put in place when we (National Democratic Alliance) formed the government at the Centre in 2014 — have slowed down over the last year,” Goyal said.

He told reporters that he had met Delhi government officials regarding the matter only last week.

Soon after the press conference held at the National Media Centre here, Press Information Bureau Director General Frank Noronha ordered an inquiry into the repeated outages.

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The union power ministry said in a release later that the outages happened since “soon after the power failure, the air circuit breaker of the supply tripped due to a surge in requirement for power”.

Earlier, Goyal said certain plans had been put in place to ensure that Delhi had uninterrupted power supply and become “islanded” like Mumbai in case of large-scale outage.

Goyal also recalled his own “baptism by fire” after assuming charge of the portfolio in the 2014 summer, when cyclonic storms uprooted electricity poles in Delhi, leading to a massive blackout.

“I had warned the Delhi government at the time to be prepared for extreme summer and they had reassured me they were taking all care to meet the growing demand,” said the minister, who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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“Hope they (Aam Aadmi Party government) will ensure that all of Delhi gets uninterrupted power. We should not politicise every matter or meeting,” he said, adding that the Arvind Kejriwal government had also been seeking to surrender about 2,000 megawatt of power.



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