Delhi heat pushes energy demand to record level

By Cherylann Mollan, BBC News, Mumbai

Getty Images A woman covers her face because of the heat. fake images

Indian capital reels under prolonged heat wave

India’s capital Delhi is reeling under a prolonged heat wave that has sent power demand soaring to a record 8,647 megawatts (MW) this week.

Temperatures have hovered around 44-45°C in the city and other parts of northern India for weeks.

The widespread use of cooling appliances such as air conditioners has put pressure on resources, leading to frequent power outages in Delhi.

The capital’s record on Tuesday came a day after northern India recorded peak power consumption of 89,000 MW.

Delhi’s electricity demand has broken many records this season, the first on May 22, when it reached 8,000 MW.

On Monday, the city’s airport suffered a power outage that lasted several minutes and affected service at the terminals.

Images shared on social media showed passengers standing in long queues at check-in counters as airline staff waited for their computers to turn on again.

The city is also battling a serious water crisis. Videos shared on social media show crowds holding buckets packed with tanker trucks.

Getty Images NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 6: People fill water from a Delhi Jal Board tanker truck amid water shortage at Anand Parbat on June 6, 2024 in New Delhi, India.  (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)fake images

People fill water from a tanker in Delhi

The meteorological department has said that the heat wave in northern India is likely to persist for the next few days.

Dozens of people have died from heat-related illnesses since March, when summer arrived.

In the first week of June, more than 50 people died due to to heat over a span of three days in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the northeastern state of Odisha (formerly Orissa).

Summers in India are usually hot and humid, but this year the heat has been exceptionally harsh with longer, more intense and more frequent heat waves.

On Tuesday, the meteorological department said the country is also likely to receive below-normal rainfall in June.

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