As half of India faced a major power outage Tuesday, India's power
watchdog has summoned top officials of five errant states to
appear before it Aug 14, holding them personally responsible for
not adhering to an earlier order of not to overdraw electricity.
Those summoned for the Aug 14 hearing by the Central Electricity
Regulatory Commission are Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab,
Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
"In our order dated July 10, 2012, we had directed that it would
be the personal responsibility of the officers in overall charge
of the state utilities/state load dispatch centres to ensure
compliance of our direction," Central Electricity Regulatory
Commission (CERC) said.
"Since the situation has not improved despite our directions, we
direct the officers-in-charge of the state utilities/state load
dispatch centres of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab,
Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir to personally appear before the
commission on Aug 14, 2012," the CERC said in the order released
The power outage for the second successive day which led to total
blackout in as many as 19 states, disrupting rail, metro, hospital
services and business activities has been attributed by Power
Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to overdrawing of electricity by some
The electricity watchdog has issued the order on a petition filed
by Northern Regional Load Dispatch Centre, which is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Power Grid Corporation of India.
In the petition, the Northern Regional Load Dispatch Centre, had
sought appropriate directions to the constituents of the northern
region to curb overdraw and maintain safety and security of the
"After hearing the petition, we had directed the constituents of
the northern region, particularly Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab
and Haryana, to restrict their overdraw within schedule to ensure
that there was no violation of regulations," CERC said.
The order had also warned that "non-compliance of the above
directions in any form will be viewed seriously and appropriate
actions under provision of the Act shall be taken."
The watchdog found that these orders had been successively
"The petitioner has submitted that despite the direction of the
commission in order dated July 10, the overdraw from the grid is
still continuing and the order of the commission and directions of
NRLDC are not being complied with by some of the constituents of
the northern region," it said.
The Northern Regional Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC), which has been
entrusted with statutory function to ensure integrated operation
of power system in the northern region, has alleged in the
petition that Uttar Pradesh was the biggest culprit with
over-drawl of power as high as 43.32 million unit per day.
For Haryana and Punjab, overdraw touched 27.83 million unit and
18.33 million unit per day respectively in the month of June.
(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)