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Heavy penalties on States violating grid discipline in India

According to reports, to ensure optimal functioning of electricity networks, the Centre plans to slap penalties of crores of rupees on states that overdraw or underdraw power than their allocated quota.

Sources said that hiking the amount of penalty on entities violating grid discipline is a major proposal being mulled by the Power Ministry.

At present, the penalty imposed for non-compliance with the grid norms, especially overdrawal, is a few lakh rupees.

After last year’s massive grid failures, the Ministry is seriously thinking of heftier fines, possibly penalties of crores of rupees, sources said.

They said Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC) – the technical and commercial rules that govern the utilisation of grids – is expected to be amended to include more stringent norms.

Amendments to the Code would also be significant considering that the government is working on connecting the Southern Grid with the National Grid, they added.

Overdrawal of electricity by some states beyond their allocated quota was cited as one of the major reasons for the massive grid collapses of 2012.

The northern grid collapsed in the wee hours on July 30 last year, leaving nearly seven states without electricity for several hours. This was followed by another crisis the very next day, when the three inter- connecting – northern, eastern and north-eastern – transmission grids in the country tripped, plunging over 20 states into darkness.

The high-level enquiry committee on grid disturbances, in its report last year, had said that no single factor was responsible for the problems.

As per that committee’s report, “overdrawal by some of the Northern Region utilities” and multiple outages of transmission lines were among the reasons for collapse of grids.

The Ministry had established a National Power Committee to ensure strict discipline as well as to resolve inter-state issues in utilisation of electricity grids.

The committee’s role would be crucial in evolving “a common approach to issues related to reliability and security” of the power grid system in the country, against the backdrop of growing complexity in managing them.

Currently, there are five regional grids in the country – Northern, Eastern, Western, North Eastern and Southern.

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