Mumbai: BEST starts upgrading network to meet growing power demand

After frequent power cuts in central Mumbai this month, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) is finally upgrading its infrastructure and replacing its age-old system.

Sources in the Undertaking said that it is now setting up a new 33 Kv distribution substation that would cater to central Mumbai areas like Sion, Prateeksha Nagar, Dharavi, GTB Nagar, Antop Hill and other surrounding areas.

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been two incidents of power outages, due to the heavy load and cable faults. The first fault occurred on September 30 and the second took place on October 7.

Due to the growing electricity demand in central Mumbai — thanks to the rising number of residential and commercial skyscrapers — the BEST is setting up a 33 Kv substation on the saltpan land at Prateeksha Nagar in Sion. “The power load has augmented over a period of time and so we have begun civil works here,” said a BEST official, on condition of anonymity. The substation is being constructed at a cost of Rs 4.05 crore.

Apart from this substation, BEST will also soon begin fixing electrical fitments inside the existing substations that are needed for efficient power supply to these areas. The authorities have invited tenders and will soon carry out electrical work at a cost of R18.82 lakh, which will be completed within three months on part of the vast expanse of saltpan land in Sion.

“Over the years, there has been lot of construction work that includes new buildings or redevelopment of older ones. This has substantially hiked the electricity demand, creating load on the existing system,” said another BEST official. The authorities are also blaming the hutments that have mushroomed over the years in this area and are illegally using electricity.

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