Delhi's power-surplus status has helped its private distribution companies (discoms) earn a whopping Rs 4,463.48 crore in the past seven years - all at the expense of power-deficient northern states, including Punjab and Haryana.
Most of the northern states are paying heavy unscheduled interchanges (UI) charges and penalty due to overdrawal from the Northern Grid, while Delhi's private discoms are minting money by surrendering part of the allocated power every month, as per a research paper of the All India Power Engineers' Federation (AIPEF).
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the federation has blamed disparity in the power allocation policy for the state of affairs, while seeking re-allocation of power from central projects to various northern states.
"The Centre has allocated much more power to Delhi's discoms compared to their requirement. This is not fair and needs urgent re-allocation," said AIPEF chairman Padamjit Singh. The discoms which are making the most of the situation are Yamuna Power Limited, Rajdhani Power Limited and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited.
The AIPEF, citing figures, said the Delhi discoms had earned Rs 425.49 crore in 2006-07, Rs 759.61 crore in 2007-08, Rs 565.77 crore in 2008-09, Rs 686.47 crore in 2009-10, Rs 764.40 crore in 2010-11, Rs 825.99 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 435.75 crore in 2012-13 on account of unscheduled interchanges.
Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have paid heavy UI charges due to lesser allocation of power from the central sector compared to their requirements.
From 2006-07 to 2012-13, UP paid Rs 7,541.55 crore; Haryana, Rs 5,230.86 crore; Rajasthan, Rs 3,809.12 crore; Punjab, Rs 2,511.23 crore; and Uttarakhand, Rs 1,824.44 crore on account of UI.
While Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan pay maximum charges during the summer, when the power demand peaks for the paddy crop, the hill states overdraw power from the grid in the winter.
"The UI cannot become a mechanism for earning money every day, every month and every year for private discoms of Delhi," the AIPEF said in the letter, also demanding withdrawal of "undue favours" to the latter.
The AIPEF has alleged that about 5,000 MW of additional power was allocated to Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), a move apparently aimed at obliging Delhi's private discoms.
When contacted, KD Chaudhry, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD), Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), said Punjab had repeatedly asked for higher allocation of power, particularly during the paddy season. "Under pressure to meet the power demand, northern states have to spend extra on buying power and paying UI charges. We have requested the Centre to increase our annual drawal limit from 5,300 MW to 6,000 MW. The need of the hour is power re-allocation as per needs of the state concerned," Chaudhry added.