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Home News Power Sector News CERC may impose penalty on states for overdrawing power

CERC may impose penalty on states for overdrawing power

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Coal shortageThe Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has decided to crack the whip on states overdrawing power much beyond approval. It may slap penalty on Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan which heavily overdrew electricity from the northern grid during the recent power shortage, causing blackouts in several regions.

The power regulator has already issued notices to these states on a petition filed by the Northern Region Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC) on Thursday. Further action will be taken after it gets responses. "We have issued notice to these states," CERC chairman Pramod Deo told FE. The regulator can impose penalty on these states under Section 142 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

NTPC had to drastically cut power generation from its Dadri, Unchahar and Singrauli plants in the northern region early this week when coal shortage became unmanageable. In such a situation, beneficiary states are required to commensurately reduce drawing power to maintain grid stability. However, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan continued to draw power as usual, ignoring NRLDC's advisory.

When power shortfall mounted to over 5,000 mw in the northern region on Tuesday, the grid frequency dipped to danger levels due to heavy overdrawal of power by these states.

The situation was so grim that Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had to hold an emergency meeting with coal company officials.

Mining and loading of coal this year has been affected due to heavy rains and strikes. Coal supply from these mines is almost about 70% of the NTPC's contracted quantity. The worst affected are SCCL and CCL where the cutback in production is due to the repeated ‘bandhs' as part of the Telangana agitation. During the last one month, coal supply from SCCL was less than 34%.

Vindhyachal in Madhya Pradesh, Farakka and Kahalgaon in East and Ramagundam and Simhadri in South are the other NTPC plants where significant generation loss has been reported due to coal shortage.

Before the onset of monsoon, NTPC had a coal stock of 5.3 million tonne to meet the requirement of 13.2 days, which has depleted drastically. "Diwali would be celebrated with light... The power situation would improve in the next 4-5 days," power minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.

He said the power ministry was taking various steps to resolve the power crisis in the country and was in constant discussions with the ministries of coal and railways on the matter.

Source - Financial Express


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