Over drawl of power from the grid despite warnings, which led to two major blackouts on July 30 and 31, will now cost the states dear as the Centre has firmed up a plan to impose stringent penalties.
A nearly seven fold jump in the penalty to Rs.1 crore from the existing Rs.15 lakh has been proposed for grid indiscipline.
A recurrent penalty of Rs.6 lakhs thereafter by state utilities and individuals who fail to comply with the grid safety orders from authorities responsible for ensuring grid discipline and security has been propsed.
Top government sources said the ministry of power has already moved a proposal to incorporate these changes by amending the Electricity Act 2003.
The amendments will empower the National Load Dispatch Centres (NLDCs) as also the State Load Dispatch Centres (SLDCs) to directly impose penalty on the non-complying utilities.
These amendments, officials said, follows recommendations by the committee under chairman of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) AK Bakshi.
“Sections 29, 33, 141 and 146 in the Act have been amended for improving grid security for actions to be taken by the concerned authorities and to bring in enforcing provisions so as to control and supervise the grid operations,” a senior power ministry official said.
“Amendments have also been proposed under Section 26, wherein an addition for constitution of the National Power Committee to manage national grid has been made…then Section 31, 33, 38, 94 have also been amended to ensure grid standards and compliance of directions.”
A very important change has been made under Section 143 and 146 that gives the grid managing authorities the power to adjudicate and punish for non-compliance of orders, he added.
The proposal to constitute a National Power Committee is to coordinate integrated operation of the National Grid.
“The suggestions were mainly based on the facts that the Regional Grids have now been synchronised forming a National Grid and, therefore, there should be a Committee parallel to the Regional Power Committee as the Regional Load Despatch Centres have a body, namely, National Load Despatch Centre for maintaining the National Grid,” the official said.