By all appearances, it is a neat solution for ending overdrawing of power from electricity grids: jail the chief secretaries of the delinquent states.
“I am contemplating now heavy fine and also a provision to imprison authorities and state chief secretaries for disobeying that...perhaps we need to enforce it,” power minister M. Veerappa Moily has told a news channel.
If such provisions are enforced, perhaps it will embolden chief secretaries to a sufficient degree to say no to chief ministers who want to break grid discipline.
At another level, however, it is an admission of defeat. A better, and lasting, solution would have been to simply price power better: to ensure a tighter fit between costs and the per-unit selling price of electricity. That, however, is beyond the power of Moily. For that to happen, chief ministers need a lesson in power economics.