The Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government have blamed each other for the acute power shortage in the state. The NDA government on Friday said Uttar Pradesh is not drawing its quota of power from the natural gas-based plants at Anta, Auraiya and Dadri.
Parts of Uttar Pradesh reportedly witnessed sporadic unrest on frequent power cuts for which its Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has held the Central government responsible for providing inadequate electricity supply. Soon after the Lok Sabha elections were over, major urban centres including Lucknow, Noida and Ghaziabad were hit by severe power cuts that has also crippled local business.
In a statement, the Union power ministry said the state has a peak demand of 12,700 MW. It can meet 10,100 MW of this from its own generating capacity but only about half of that is currently available, “which can be improved by the state to meet its shortage”.
The release from the power ministry headed by Piyush Goyal has advised that the state government can also requisition electricity from other power surplus states in the Northern region since there is an integrated grid to wheel supply to the state.
“377 MW from NTPC’s Jhajjar plant is also available which can be requisitioned by the State. During the election days, Uttar Pradesh did procure 277 MW from NTPC’s Jhajjar plant from 3 to 15 2014,” the release adds. It points out that state can also procure adequate power from the power exchanges to lessen its electricity shortage.
The Centre’s comments are in reply to letter from state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who has noted that “Of the total 6,200 MW sanctioned to the state from central pool, state is only getting 4,200 MW. Before the Lok Sabha polls, state was given 5,200 MW in this head”.
Yadav has also added that his state is purchasing 800-1,000 MW from the power exchanges “but it did not have sufficient power due to which difficulties are faced”.
Goyal, however, claimed on Friday that he has offered to help out the state but he has not heard from Yadav. “Whatever assistance the state government requires we are happy to provide, I have personally been trying to contact UP chief minister since morning and have left messages but have unfortunately not heard from him.”
The underdrawal by the state despite a market for power is a response to its difficult financial position.
As per documents submitted by the Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre with the Central electricity regulator, UP has under drawn from the grid ( which endangers frequency) the most among all the Northern states since February to mid-May this year.