Bihar energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav on Saturday, pitched strongly for uniform electricity tariff across the country, as well as, getting rid of the system of having five regional grids - north, west, south, east and northeast - in the national power set-up.
“If telephones, railways or postal services could have one tariff for the entire country, why can electricity tariff not be uniform? Why should Delhi get power at cheaper rates from Kahalgaon or Barh thermal power units in comparison to Bihar? There is need to have just one rate,” argued Yadav.
He suggested doing away with regional grids and just have one to correct the regional imbalance in the matter of power generation, evacuation, allocation and transmision,” added Yadav.
The energy minister was speaking at a workshop on ‘black start and restoration procedure’ organised here by eastern region power committee (ERPC) and eastern regional load dispatch centre (ERLDC) to discuss the reasons behind grid collapse of July 30 and 31 this year, and ways to prevent it.
Experts at the workshop said, the difference in tariff is due to the different construction dates and costs of power generation units at thermal power stations. The difference in the prices of domestic, as well as, imported coal prices was also among the reasons for tariff difference.
Hailing the workshop, as a timely one, Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) chairman UN Panjiar compared the restoration of services with the time taken in US grid collapse, which was 12-26 hours. He said, the services were restored in Bihar after six to seven hours of the grid collapse, but it could have been done in an hour.
Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) chairman PK Rai said, maintaining grid discipline, staging mock drills to tackle blackouts, special protection systems, better coordination, and primary response from governors of generators are necessary to avoid recurrence of such catastrophic breakdowns that cause tremendous loss to the economy and inconvenience to consumers.
ERLDC chief manager G Chakraborty and assistant general manager P Mukhopadhyaya also spoke on the occasion. J Bandopadhyaya of ERPC delivered the welcome address. BERC members SC Jha and KP Singh, BSEB members TT Jha, Rana Awadhesh, general manager SKP Singh, chief engineer Jitendra Kishore as well as officials from NTPC, NHRC, BREDA, BSHPC, Railways and other organisations participated in the workshop.