In its order dated July 30, the CERC noted: "The new grid has come to a precarious position on account of non-compliance of the instructions of NRLDC by the state transmission utilities / state load despatch centres despite repeated messages and letters written by the petitioner (i.e. the NRLDC)".
The CERC has summoned UP's top brass of the power department on August 14 where the officials are likely to face the music.
Those in the know of things say the power crisis in UP is not only technical but has its genesis in political factors. "There is an overload of 2,000 to 2,500 MW everyday in UP mainly due to political compulsions," says Shailendra Dube, secretary general of All India Power Engineers' Federation.
As per the power schedule in UP, only Agra and Lucknow are supposed to have 24-hour power supply: Agra being the ultimate tourist destination in the state and Lucknow by virtue of being the capital and the administrative hub of UP. But due to political reasons, several other districts have virtually bullied the UP Power Corporation to get this privilege. These include Mainpuri (Mulayam Singh Yadav's Lok Sabha seat), Etawah (Shivpal Yadav's Assembly constituency Jaswant Nagar), Kannauj (Lok Sabha seat of Dimple Yadav, wife of Akhilesh Yadav) and Rampur (senior minister Azam Khan's fiefdom).
As a result against a permitted quota of 2,500 MW from the northern grid, UP draws anywhere between 4,000 and 6,000 MW every day. While UP's peak demand on any given day hovers between 9,000 and 9,500 MW, availability of power from all sources is only about 7,000 MW which translates into a daily scarcity of about 2,000 MW.
UP merrily overdraws power from the northern grid despite reminders, warnings and heavy financial penalties.