People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 31

July 05, 2012


EEFI on Disastrous Power Grid Failure


TWENTY one states of India covering Six crores of people plunged into total darkness on July 31, 2012. National Capital Region of Delhi along with nine northern states experienced the power cut for two consecutive days from early hours of July 30. Life in all these 21 states came to a standstill, with health, transport, civic, communication and all major commercial services disrupted.


Electricity Employees Federation of India believes that with traditional ‘Enquiry Commissions,’ root causes will not be revealed. Techno-commercial reasons like over-drawal, failure of grid protection devices etc including fixing of responsibilities on defaulters are loudly talked of, distinctly avoiding the shortcomings of National Electricity Policy. Under the newly enacted disastrous statute of Electricity Act 2003, power has been solely converted into market driven commodity from its status of important resource and service for socio-economic development of the nation. It may be recalled that shockingly the aims and objectives of this new statute is “encouraging private sector participation in generation, transmission and distribution.” The role of the government in providing affordable power to the people has been dismantled. In this backdrop, we had warned of such a catastrophe. States are overdrawing power on commercial reasons and such unethical profit motive cannot maintain grid discipline. Market forces cannot ensure power security of the nation. Public investment and proper planning are necessary for ensuring power security.


History of all black-outs in the world including Dreadful California Crisis revealed that market manipulation by the energy traders played most obnoxious role. In India also, all these traders in various names and fake identities without investing a single paise towards generation, transmission and distribution network are making huge profits from the power market. Now it is a matter of shock and serious concern that the private profiteers have alone been allocated about 50 per cent of new generation capacity addition during the 12th Five year plan.


In this situation, the country is being pushed to recurrence of power cuts and black-outs in future, not due to shortage of instant demand or availability, but due to the policies framed by the government towards more and more deregulation in the whole energy arena which will lead to destabilisation of energy security of our country.


EEFI demands a thorough revision of the policy to ensure energy security towards overall development of the nation and prevent recurrence of such shocking disasters.