The Centre has held northern states responsible for the grid failure that plunged large parts of the region into darkness on Friday and Saturday.
The power ministry’s advisory body, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), said the tripping of 36 transmission lines could have been avoided had the states followed its advisories. “Despite repeated reminders to replace porcelain insulators with polymer ones ... the states didn’t take timely measures,” CEA chairman Rakesh Nath said.
The statement came after the CEA and PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), the agency responsible for managing transmission, reviewed the power situation.
The Northern Load Dispatch Centre, under the PGCIL, is responsible for managing the northern grid that supplies power to Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir.
Almost 7,500 Megawatts (MW) load was affected (one MW can light 25,000 tubelights). “A repeat of the situation cannot be ruled out,” chairman and managing director of PGCIL, S.K. Chaturvedi, said. “The pollutant deposits on the lines during foggy seasons lead to such a situation.”
S.C. Sabharwal, member (transmission) of the Punjab State Electricity Board, however, said, “All 400 KVA lines are managed, maintained and repaired by the PowerGrid. So, it is the corporation which is to be blamed.”
The Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd said it was not correct to blame states. “Maintenance of transmission lines is such a complicated ... task that at times they do trip despite taking all precautions,” executive director Ashok Kumar said.