Mumbai power cut: Uddhav Thackeray orders 'immediate' probe into outage, Centre to send team to assist state govt

FP Staff
·6-min read

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered an "immediate" probe into the widespread power outage in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on Monday, even as electricity was gradually restored in several areas including Navi Mumbai, Churchgate, and Mumbra in Thane.

The Centre also took cognisance of the incident, with Union power minister RK Singh saying that a Central team comprising officials from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) will be sent to Mumbai to study the power breakdown.

The team is also expected to assist the state government in finding solutions to such situations, Singh said.

"A central team will visit Mumbai to identify the problem and to find out possible solutions against such break down," Singh said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Power on Monday evening.

Earlier in the day, Singh had said that the national grid "was fine".

"Of more than 2,000 MW which went off, about 1,900 MW has been restored, the remaining will be restored soon. The national grid is fine, the problem happened in some parts of the state grid," he added.

The minister also said central power sector officers have been rendering assistance for restoring full electricity supply in Mumbai.

After a morning of an "unprecedented" blackout on Monday, Tata Power tweeted around 1 pm that the power has been restored fully. The company added that it had "progressively started restoring supply to all its customers starting from noon."

Train services on the Central and Western Railways lines have also been "fully" restored, Indian Express reported. Around 2 pm on Monday, Raut tweeted, "Power supply to all essential services in Mumbai, Mumbai Suburbs, Kalyan, Thane, Palghar and New Mumbai have been restored. Non essential services will also be restored shortly."

Meanwhile, Thackeray took stock of the issue in a discussion with Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut.

Thackeray also called for an "urgent" meeting, as per reports. In the meeting, he instructed concerned authorities to ensure there is no recurrence of the episode, an official statement said.

The statement added that the power supply in majority of areas in the city was restored within three to three and a half hours after it was affected around 10 am.

The meeting, which was held at the chief minister's official residence 'Varsha' in afternoon, was also attended by state chief secretary Sanjay Kumar and representatives of power supplying companies like BEST, Tata and Adani.

"During the meeting, the chief minister instructed a probe into the matter and asked to ensure there is no repeat of the incident," the statement said.

The chief minister also asked to check whether the snag was "expected, unexpected or was caused by dereliction" and directed authorities concerned to remain alert in view of the withdrawing monsoon forecast over the next four days.

The circuit 1 at 400 KV Kalwa-Padgha GIS stopped working due to over voltage at 4.33 am. The supply, however, was unaffected even as the maintenance work on the circuit 1 was on, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Raut said the entire load was then transferred to circuit 2.

Earlier on Monday, Thackeray also instructed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to make alternative arrangements so that power supply to hospitals is intact, a statement by the chief minister's office said.

The chief minister also instructed the state chief secretary to ensure that the control rooms and fire brigade are on alert to see that there are no other mishaps due to power outage, it said.

The chief minister also asked officials to coordinate with the railway administration to help passengers after the suburban local train services were hit by the power failure, the statement said.

PTI reported that Monday's power grid failure also affected the water supply in various parts of the city, prompting the BMC to ask citizens to use water judiciously.

"The power supply to Bhandup-based water purification plant was affected for a few hours due to which several areas received water at a low pressure," the civic body said in a release.

The water supply to various parts of the city is expected to become normal by Tuesday afternoon, it stated.

Earlier, Raut had said that the power failure is being addressed on a "war footing".

"Once the power is restored, a probe will be carried out into reasons which led to the technical snag, he tweeted.

On Monday morning, Mumbai awoke to an electricity blackout with many taking to Twitter to complain:

A statement by BEST electricity read €"

The disaster control room run by the city civic body said there was a "central failure of Tata Power at Kalwa".

In a video statement, Raut had said maintenance work was on in Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company's 400 kv Kalwa-Padgha centre when the technical fault happened in circuit number 2, which was taking the entire load at the time.

"A major part of Mumbai and Thane has been affected due to this, power will be restored in 30-45 minutes," he said.

"In view of interruption in traction power at 1005 hrs due to grid failure of Tata Power company, services between Churchgate and Borivili are suspended. It shall be resumed as soon as traction power supply is restored," Western Railway tweeted.

Central Railway officials also called it a "grid failure" which resulted in a stoppage of services.

"The electric supply is interrupted due to TATAs incoming electric supply failure," BEST said.

Officials at Tata Power were not immediately available for comment.

Another discom official also said that it is a grid failure and efforts are underway to restore power supply at the earliest with the help of Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company and Power Grid Corporation.

The local trains, which are called the lifeline of the megapolis with over 70 lakh commuters daily, currently ferry only essential employees to work places.

Power outages were reported from Thane, Panvel, Dombivili and Kalyan as well.

BSE and NSE, the oldest and the largest bourses, respectively, which are based in the city, also reported power outages, but added that their operations are continuing normally.

A spokesperson of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport said operations are normal.

BMC commissioner IS Chahal directed hospitals to contact their respective SWM transport GARAGE officers to get enough supply of diesel for at least eight hours so that there is no power failures in hospitals, especially ICUs.

According to News18 Lokmat, there has been multiple tripping of lines and transformer (Kalwa-padghe and Khargar ICTs) supplying power to Mumbai system. A total of 360 MW supply in Mumbai and suburbs is said to be affected. Restoration work is in process.

A similar blackout was seen in 2014, when many parts of Mumbai faced power outages for several hours after a unit of Tata Power's Trombay plant tripped.

With inputs from PTI

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