According to estimates by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), at least 50,000 litres of diesel is burnt in Gurgaon every hour to ensure power backup in residential and commercial areas.
Using generators to ensure uninterrupted power supply at home, office, or industry is a common practice in Gurgaon, which has a 410MW power deficit.
Obviously, health and environmental impacts are severe.
Diesel generated power in Gurgaon costs a whopping Rs. 23cr
Gurgaon has a daily demand of 2,100MW, but the state-owned Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) can supply only 1,690MW, thereby creating a 410MW deficit. The cost of diesel generated power in Gurgaon, going by current diesel prices, is estimated to be Rs. 23cr.
Gurgaon suffers from daily power outages
In Gurgaon, diesel generator sets (DGs) are the most reliable source of power supply.
The city faces an average of 3-4 hours of power outages per day throughout the year, which reaches 6-7 hours in summers.
There are thousands of DGs in the city, with capacities ranging from 125KV to 6,000KV, and during peak summer, they run for over 10 hours daily.
The health and environmental impacts of diesel exhaust
Diesel exhaust contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants including the likes of several cancer-causing substances like formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene etc.
Environmental impacts are dire too as diesel exhaust emits nitrogen oxide, the single-most important ozone-depleting emission. Now, imagine 50,000 litres of diesel burnt per day.
Yet, despite knowing the effects, many residents think that the generators are a necessary evil in Gurgaon.
Environmentalist says Gurgaon consumes 3 lakh litres of diesel daily
"There are around 2,500-3,000 high capacity DG sets installed across the city...If we go by average power cuts of three hours a day, it would mean three lakh litres of diesel is consumed daily," said Vivek Kamboj, the director-founder of Hariyali NGO.
The state will have to step up power supply
Most of the generators are in DLF areas, Sushant Lok, malls of Sohna Road and MG Road, Udyog Vihar industries and new group housing complexes.
Sadly, there's no alternative for Gurgaon residents till power supply from the state-owned Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) is stepped up.
Improvements, if any, will be visible after four years when the Smart Grid project becomes fully operational.