Environmental hazards responsible for recent power crisis in Delhi

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Bahadurgarh, Mar 16 (UNI) The hue and cry made over the recent power crisis in the capital owes its occurence to smog as it is responsible for the increased number of trips/faults.

''Increasing humidity in the environment leads to higher accumulation of smog, which gets settled on the conductors leading to tripping of power,'' Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) Executive Director (Operation Services) R G Yadav said.

The factors contributing to this are the chimneys used for baking the klin, the construction activities going in the capital, along with the jaggery industry located in the NCR.

Earlier the chimneys used coal for baking but as these are unauthorised and driven by profit motive, they now use rubber tubes, tyres and even polythene for this purpose, leading to emission of pollutants in the environment.

As the humidity rises, these particles get settled on the conductors and in a long run leads to tripping.

A big proportion of this is also contributed by the vehicles which run on diesel.

''Diesel-driven vehicles contribute about 66 per cent to the actual pollution,'' a recent report released by the Met Department states.

In order to cope up with the problem, PGCIL has already started cleaning of the conductors.

At present, it is mainly done manually by using clothes or spraying water through jet pumps. ''However, in near future, we will be using helicopters for this purpose once the tenders are finalised,'' added Mr Yadav.

The use of helicopters will not only save time but also manpower as for cleaning a single tower about 15 men are required, he said.

The problem of tripping has escalated over the last two years due to the decline in rainfall, which acts as a cleaning agent for these conductors.

As per the recent reports by Met Department, Delhi, along with Haryana and Chandigarh, received no rainfall as compared to 61.60 mm in the corresponding period last year.

According to Mr Yadav, the problem is not only confined to India.

A similar event was in 2006 during South Africa's 'Western Cape Blackout' and in China and chances are that it may aggravate in the future.

PGCIL has also deployed polymer insulators on 16 of its lines, which is a pilot project and by November 2008 it hopes to have this fitted on all lines in the NCR.

The respective state electricity boards have also been directed in this area, he said.

The decision to this effect has been already taken in a meeting with the Ministry of Power and the estimated cost is about Rs 150-200 crores as a majority of these insulators are imported currently.

In a meeting held, the PGCIL has also decided to form a Crisis Management Board to avoid such problems in the future.

UNI AK SG RN1756

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