With the onset of winter and foggy days ahead, the Centre has warned northern and western states such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra against any overdrawal of power.
Such a situation can cause a grid collapse and lead to power blackouts across the country.
“In order to maintain grid discipline, heavy penalties will be imposed on states that are drawing power more than their entitlement from the grid,” a senior power ministry official said.
“The load control and dispatch centres — managing the regional grids — have been instructed to ensure adequate measures by state power authorities ahead of heavy fog and humidity,” he said.
Despite repeated warnings, inaction on part of the state power authorities in the northern region has repeatedly led to tripping of the grid due to heavy fog and pollution.
Fog makes power transmission lines moist and the atmospheric pollution deposits stick to the lines over time. The lines become caked in dust, resulting in short circuits that trigger tripping. If unchecked, this eventually results in a collapse of a grid or short-circuiting of the network that supplies power to an entire region.
Officials said that ahead of assembly elections, states such as Uttar Pradesh have started overdrawing power to please their voters.
“Such actions lead to imbalances in the grid thereby causing a collapse. We will be imposing heavy penalties on such erring states,” he said.
The northern states — comprise of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh — alone account for 30% of India’s total power generation capacity of 1.82 lakh MW. Any disturbances in the northern grid can result in a complete collapse of power supply.