As electricity boards in several states are preparing for sudden dip and surge in their power grids following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for the public to switch off their lights on 5 April, the government on Saturday, 4 April, said that adequate measures have been taken to handle the variation in demand.
Earlier on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal governments had issued advisories to their respective electricity boards to prepare for a power surge.
In order to ensure the power grids remain stable, power frequency has to be kept in a specific range. Any sudden increase or decrease in this frequency (49.95-50.05 Hz) could cause a collapse. Electricity boards are preparing to avoid any collapse as there could be a fluctuation of ten percent of the total power requirement.
No Need to Switch off Appliances, says Govt
On Saturday evening, the Ministry of Power issued a statement saying adequate precautions have been taken. "PM has appealed to voluntarily switch off lights between 9pm to 9.09pm on 5 April. Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in grid and voltage fluctuation which may harm electrical appliances. These apprehensions are misplaced," Ministry of Power said in a statement.
"No call to switch off street lights or appliances in homes. Only lights should be switched off. The lights in hospitals and other essential services will remain on. Local bodies have been advised to keep street lights on for public safety," it added.
#PIBFactCheck : No need to worry, adequate protocols/arrangements are in place to handle the variation in demand when people switch off their lights for #9Baje9Minutes tomorrow ie Sunday on the PM's appeal to show solidarity over #Covid_19india #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/1VlJJChfcp— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) April 4, 2020
Light Candles Without Turning off Light: Maha Minister
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Energy Nitin Raut said asked citizens to light candles without switching off the power saying that it will take a week’s time restore power in case of failure of grid.
If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of grid. All our emergency services will fail&it might take a week's time to restore power.I would appeal to the public to light candles&lamps without switching off lights:Nitin Raut,Maharashtra Energy Minister (3.4) pic.twitter.com/2j2gtOoJKi— ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2020
Maharashtra’s State-run Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), which is responsible for integrated operation of the grid, is working towards ensuring there is no pressure on the grid due to the possible grid collapse and resultant blackout throughout the country.
"“The entire power sector is currently under stress. The demand has already fallen significantly due to the ongoing lockdown. There could be some stress due to this blackout of few minutes, but since we know the time, we can plan for it well in advance.”" - A government official said on condition of anonymity told PTITamil Nadu, UP & West Bengal Ask Companies to be Cautious
The Tamil Nadu Transmission Company (TANTRANSCO), in a communication sent on Friday, asked all its executive engineers to be available with sufficient staff members on Sunday between 8 pm and 10:30 pm.
"“As the demand of lighting load is expected to have a steep fall around 21.00 hrs and a steep rise around 21.09 hrs on 05.04.2020, all EEs are requested to adhere to the following instructions to mitigate any contingencies, arising out of the above.”" - Tamil Nadu government circular.
Similarly, West Bengal Chief Minister has also written to the power secretary to take adequate measures. “To ensure the security and reliability of the electricity grid, an emergency FOLD meeting regarding preparedness of LDCs is scheduled to be held at 1130 hours on 4th April 2020 through video conferencing,” said a West Bengal government communication.
According to a letter sent by Uttar Pradesh State Load Despatch Centre, to avoid sharp crashing of load due to everyone switching off lights the grid operator has proposed that load shedding in a staggered manner may be done staring from approximately 8-9 pm in Uttar Pradesh Power control area.
I Hope Govt Addresses Engineers’ Concerns: Priyanka Gandhi
Tweeting about the potential disruption to power grids, senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, “While the country is expressing solidarity in the war against corona, I hope the government will address the concerns of the power grid engineers, so that there is no obstruction in the power supply during the crisis and in times of need.”
जब देश कोरोना के खिलाफ युद्ध में एकजुटता का इजहार कर रहा है, आशा है कि केंद्र सरकार द्वारा पॉवर ग्रिडस एवं इंजीनियरों की चिंताओं का भी ध्यान रखा जा रहा है। ताकि संकटकाल में और जरूरत के समय बिजली आपूर्ति में कोई बाधा न हो।https://t.co/Zk9UCwRUjE— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) April 4, 2020
(With inputs from PTI)
. Read more on India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsNo Food or Beds: Bihar’s Govt Schools Make Poor Isolation Centres . Read more on India by The Quint.