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Don't exceed power quotas, states told

Warning all northern states against overdrawing power from grid, Centre says it will impose penalty on the guilty.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 19:49 IST

Amid acute shortage of electricity, the Centre on Saturday appealed to all North Indian states not to overdraw power from the northern grid and proposed to impose penalty on those who withdraw power beyond their entitled quotas.

"We have discussed the power scenario in the northern region and all the states have agreed to maintain the grid code and not to overdraw power. The situation is slowly improving, but the demand-supply mismatch still continues," Power Secretary RV Shahi told reporters after a two-hour long meeting with the chief secretaries, secretaries and principal energy secretaries of the northern states.

"We have started getting 1600 MW from the Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam in HP, which has relieved the situation quite a bit, but the states are required not to overdraw power than their entitled quota," he said.

Elaborating on the setting up of a deterrant to discourage states to overdraw from the grid, Shahi said all the states had proposed that the charge of Rs 5.70 per unit be enhanced.

He said Centre would be taking the proposal to Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and Central Electricity Authority for a final decision.

Shahi said the efforts taken in the previous months had begun to show results and the grid frequency was now at 35 Hertz that was slightly better though it should be maintained at 48.5-49 Hz as prescribed by the regulator.

He said situation would further improve with 1600 MW from Nathpa Jakhri, 250 MW of wind energy in Rajasthan and commissioning of Tehri Hydro Power Project by the end of the month.

The states have also postponed the maintenance of some of the plants to meet the demand in May.

"Although it is not desirable to postpone the maintenance as it affects the health of the plant, but due to the demand- supply mismatch, this decision has been taken," Shahi said.

To solve the crisis, the shops in UP had been asked to shut down by 7.00 pm, Shahi said. In Delhi too, an advisory has been given to the shops to wind up by 7.30 pm.

However, Shahi did not favour for any law to control usage of electricity. He appealed for judicious use of power especially during the peak hours.

In the capital, the power shortage was to the tune of 450 MW per day, which officials said had come down to 300 MW. He said another review meeting would be held on May 31 with the state officials.

SC seeks report

The move comes a day after the Supreme Court asked the Centre and the Delhi Government to explain within two weeks the steps taken to increase power supply to the city.

The court also asked a question that has been on the minds of people: how can the city think of hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games in such a scenario?

A bench of justices Ruma Pal and AK Mathur said: “We were told that the power crisis was because of power theft during transmission. We were dealing with it. Now, the distribution companies are again telling us that supply is low, bringing us back to square one.” The distribution companies threw up their hands, saying they were only supplying what was available to them.

The court asked the Centre and state to think of small projects to solve the problem. If these too trip, the problem would be localised, the bench said. The court directions came while hearing a petition on the power crisis in Delhi.