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Northern grid back on track, but no respite for Delhi

The northern grid, which was on the verge of collapse, has turned a tad healthy, restoring its frequency back to 49 Hz from 48 Hz (sensitive point). It, however, has not offered any substantial succour to Delhi, where the power situation is worsening day-by-day.

The recent problem dogging Delhi is non-payment by defaulting states, especially Uttar Pradesh, into the unscheduled interchange (UI) pool account of the northern grid.

States, when faced by excessive power shortage, may buy electricity from UI account of the grid by paying actual charges to the under-drawing states. “UP owes Rs 450 crore to the UI account and not paying for long. This prevents us from buying extra power to meet our surging demands,” said a Transco official.

According to sources, despite NRLDC - the apex body to ensure integrated operation of power in the northern region - proposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh for the violator, states like UP, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan draw way beyond their allotted share. But, when it comes to supporting the UI pool, the payments are negligible.

“Delhi is extra-cautious in taking power from the grid. The Capital is given just 1,365 mw, when it is allotted 1,811 mw,” said the source.

When contacted, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said, “We have always respected our deadlines and been best paymasters as far as possible. Keeping in view our good payment track record, we hope to get more power allotted by the power ministry from the central generating power stations.”

Last week, UP had been overdrawing nearly 800 mw, and the frequency was down to 47.9 Hz near the grid’s breaking point. “After several messages to UP failed to make it observe grid behaviour, NRLDC was forced to cut their feeders, as the grid can’t be allowed to collapse.

Some feeders were cut last week,” said sources.

Predictably, peeved political leaders from UP are learnt to be approaching PowerGrid Corp to ensure their overdrawing remains unbridled.

UP’s behaviour may be billed as a double whammy for Delhi. While the state refuses to release water for the Sonia Vihar plant that could help mitigate the perennial shortage in south and east Delhi, overdrawing such humongous power means the Capital has to keep drawing less from the grid to prevent it from collapsing.














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