“Delhi is the only State that seems to adhere to grid discipline. And since there is not enough deterrent to those who violate the grid code, we end up suffering,” complained Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf on Monday, hours after the city’s power supply was disconnected by the Northern Grid collapse.

As the city reeled under power cuts for a long stretch of time, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Mr. Yusuf met Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and pinned the blame for the grid collapse on States like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab that they alleged were heavily over drawing power and did not refrain from doing so, despite being aware of the consequences.

Delhi has complained to the Centre to ensure such violations are not repeated and that an alternative is found for securing Delhi’s position.

“During a certain time Uttar Pradesh was overdrawing by as much as 1,500 MW, by the time the grid’s tolerance was crossed, UP was overdrawing around 900 MW, Punjab 580 MW and Haryana about 500 MW. Delhi and Rajasthan had been under drawing power all along,” said Mr. Yusuf.

“This is not the first time that the grid’s safety has been compromised by States that overdraw power rampantly. We have requested Mr. Shinde to ensure that Delhi can be insulated from such breakdowns. The Chief Minister is keen that a way out is found, because not only is Delhi the National Capital with vital installations, but also because such failures are a security hazard,” said Mr. Yusuf.

He went on to add: “Recently Delhi met a lot demand of 5,600 MW, and without overdrawing. We have been able to plan well, we have made good arrangements, and that is what the other States should do as well. And it is the job of the load dispatch centres to ensure that the violators are heavily penalised.”

Officials of the Delhi Government said the grid collapse could have been avoided, if the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre was doing its job well. “They need to be strict about violations. They have to ensure that grid code is not violated. There should also be a political will to cut power supply to those states that violate the grid code,” said an official.

Poor monsoon and the low levels of water at the dams has adversely impacted power situation, official said. On whether beefing generation within Delhi would have prevented the city from plunging into a powerless state, an official said: “If production at Bawana was up to the full capacity, it would have helped. But the situation would have remained precarious, because drawal from the Northern Grid makes up for the bulk of the city’s supply.”

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