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UP fined for violating grid ?dharma?

UTTAR PRADESH on Tuesday earned a dubious distinction of being the country?s first state to be penalised by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for endangering grid safety by violating power grid discipline.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 01:21 IST

UTTAR PRADESH on Tuesday earned a dubious distinction of being the country’s first state to be penalised by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for endangering grid safety by violating power grid discipline.

The CERC slapped a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) for overdraw of electricity from the Northern Grid even when the grid frequency was below the threshold level of 49 hertz and despite the Commission having repeatedly issued warning against it.

The commission appointed AH Jung, Member CERC, as an adjudicating officer under Section 143 of the Electricity Act to hold an inquiry into the alleged violation of instructions of Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC) by UPPCL, during April. A penalty of Rs 15 lakh may be imposed under the Section 143, if found guilty.

Under the Indian Electricity Grid Code, the states are required to curtail their overdraw in order to prevent grid collapse if the frequency falls below 49 hertz.

Invoking powers under section 142 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the Commission imposed a token penalty of Rs 1 lakh for the indiscriminate overdraw by the UPPCL during the period April 27th to 30th. The Commission announced its verdict after providing opportunity to petitioner NRLDC and respondent UPPCL to argue and present their viewpoint.

NRLDC produced evidence of grid code violation by UPPCL in their technical presentation. UPPCL conceded to overdraw and also accepted that no generation in their capacity had been added to the State sector during the last 10 years. UPPCL pleaded that it be given one more chance as they were trying their best to curtail their demand through heavy load shedding. The National Thermal Corporation intervened during the hearing to say that life of their generation machines in the Northern Region was getting adversely affected due to low frequency grid operation.

The commission observed that its primary responsibility was to ensure grid discipline. “If every State starts overdrawing under the pretext of shortage, the grid would collapse,” pointed out the commission and warned, “You have to live with shortages or else arrange additional generating capacity.” Talking on the telephone from Delhi, CERC chairman AK Basu said the commission had imposed the fine ‘with a heavy heart’ as it was left with no option after UP repeatedly violated its directives. “You (UP) are the leader and you must act responsibly,” he said. Replying to a question Basu said there was no question of singling out UP. “We have warned that the Commission will come down heavily on any other State indulging in undisciplined grid behaviour,” he said. Basu said it was not fair to blame the Centre for the shortage in UP. “While the Centre increased UP’s share in the Central sector power houses from 2000 mw to 3513 mw, UP did not add even a single unit of power generation as it failed to set up any new power house in the State during last 10 years,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday said he would convene a meeting soon to discuss the CERC move.

First Published: May 10, 2006 01:21 IST