Uttar Pradesh has again been blamed for not maintaining grid discipline following which the Northern Grid collapsed for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. The situation became more serious when the Eastern and North Eastern Grid also crashed. According to reports, the snag again occurred in the Agra-Gwalior transmission line where a circuit is said to have tripped.
While the State officials have maintained that Uttar Pradesh had not resorted to over-drawal, data from the Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC) of Power System Operation Corporation Limited tell a different story. There was a complete mismatch between the schedule and over-drawal.
As per the schedule of drawing power of only 2500 megawatt at 1 P.M. on Tuesday, the over-drawal by Uttar Pradesh was around 4000 MW. The grid reportedly crashed at around 1.05 p.m. bringing life to a standstill with around 100 trains coming to a grinding halt in Allahabad, Varanasi, Lucknow and Mughalsarai divisions. Work in offices also suffered as a result of the massive power outage.
The over-drawal has been made by the State despite the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in its order, dated July 30, 2012 directing Uttar Pradesh (along with Punjab and Haryana) to comply with the directives of NRLDC for maintaining the security of the system. The CERC had directed the constituents of the Northern Region, including Uttar Pradesh, to restrict their over-drawal within the schedule to ensure there was no violation of the regulations.
Incidentally, the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), Awanish Awasthi, was shunted out by the government late on Monday night. Though no reasons were given for his transfer, sources in the Power Corporation said that the State’s failure to maintain grid discipline hastened his exit. Mr. Awasthi has been succeeded by A.P. Mishra, a technocrat. Mr. Mishra has been appointed the Managing Director of UPPCL. The Chairman of the Corporation has not been named.
Uttar Pradesh, which has been battling power crisis especially during the summer and monsoon for the past decade, is yet to tide over the situation. The demand for power has outstripped availability by a huge margin with the average demand for electricity pegged at over 7000 MW. The maximum availability of power is from the import of power from the Central sector, including the National Thermal Power Corporation’s units.
Power to the States is allotted in accordance with the Gadgil formula with the population forming the basis for the allotment. Uttar Pradesh has been demanding that its share be increased.