In a veiled threat, the Centre has warned states of snapping their share of unallocated power if the same is not being used to meeting needs of consumers but being sold on power exchanges at higher rates for gains.
The union power ministry directive has come in the wake of several states reporting shortage of power due to a sudden rise in demand but at the same time selling a portion of power available to them at exchanges to maximise gains as prices have shot up to Rs 15 for a unit of electricity.
Several states including Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Assam, Madhya Pradesh are reporting severe stress on their power situation in the wake of fuel shortages at coal based plants while an unprecedented increase in power demand in the post pandemic rapid recovery being seen in the economic activities.
A power ministry statement said that it has been brought to its notice that some States are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load shedding. At the same time, they are also selling power in the power exchange at high prices. The fresh action on unallocated power is to prevent misuse of this portion of energy.
As per the guidelines for allocation of power, 15 per cent power from the Central Generating Stations (CGS) are kept under "unallocated power" which is allocated by the Central Government to the needy States to meet the requirement.
The responsibility to supply power to the consumers is of the distribution companies and they should first serve their consumers who have the right to receive 24x7 power. Thus, the distribution companies should not sell the power in the power exchange and starve their own consumers, a power ministry statement said.
The states have therefore been requested to use the unallocated power for supplying electricity to the consumers of the State. In case of surplus power, the states have been requested to intimate the Government of India so that this power can be reallocated to other needy state, the statement added.
In case any state is found that they are not serving their consumers and selling power in the power exchanges at higher rate, the unallocated power of such states shall be withdrawn and allocated to other needy states, the statement added.