The monster power cuts that engulfed half of India these last two days could have been easily averted if only the agency that monitors the power grids, the regional load despatch centres (RLDCs), had more power.
The RLDCs cannot prevent or punish states from drawing more their
allocated share from the grids - which was what led to the crisis across north, east and northeast India. They can only issue warnings that are largely ignored.
"Strict measures need to be put in place and RLDCs must be given more teeth by the government to impose strict penalties on states that overdraw," said former power secretary Anil Razdan.
"If not, then the possibility of more such blackouts cannot be ruled out."
He said the RLDCs should get the power to disconnect all erring states from the main grid.
India has five electricity grids - northern, eastern, northeastern, southern and western - each under the control of an RLDC.
The five RLDCs come under the central sector Power Grid Corporation, which operates more than 95,000 circuit km of transmission lines.
Barring the southern grid, all the other grids are interconnected.