New Delhi: Power supply is being restored in a phase-by-phase manner across various North Indian states that had plunged into darkness after the northern power grid tripped early on Monday.
After taking stock of the situation, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said work is being carried out at a war footing to resolve the crisis even as power supply has been restored to 60% of normal by 11 am.
Shinde said the grid had failed at 2.35 am and was partially restored by 8 am. He said the normal load on the grid has to be maintained between 48.5 to 50.2 Hertz, however, yesterday night the load increased to 50.46 Hz, lead to grid collapse.
Shinde revealed preliminary investigations suggest that trouble occurred in the grid near Agra, which had a cascading effect on the entire grid, leading to tripping of major thermal power plants and hydroelectric stations across the region.
Refusing to single out what led to grid failure, the Power Minister said a three-member committee has been appointed to find the exact reason behind the failure.
Expressing full faith in the capability of Indian engineers, Shinde said that India’s grid is one of the best maintained in the world. To stress the point, he pointed out that the United States of America had needed four days to restore a grid failure in 2008 and that too with the help of Indian engineers.
The Northern Grid, one of the largest in the country, covers nine states — Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh. This is reportedly the worst northern grid failure since January 2001.
The sudden failure had plunged entire North India into darkness with train services in the region.
Although power supply to trains have been restored, it will be some time before services return to normal as there is huge backlog of trains that are stuck along different routes.
The trains affected include Amritsar Delhi Shatabdi Express, Allahabad Chandigarh Unchahaar, Lucknow Chandigarh Sadbhavna, Howraha Kalka Mail, Delhi Jammu Mail and a number of other super fast, express, passenger and local trains.
In Delhi, IGI Airport functioned normally through the crisis as the entire system had shifted to the backup generators. Delhi Metro was initially hit but now services have returned to normal. DTC bus services were also hit as CNG stations were shut due to lack of power.
A lot of load has been restored, especially for the essential services such as Railways. The connectivity of thermal plants (supplying power to Northern region) to the grid is expected to be fully restored in the next four to five hours,” POSOCO Chief Executive Officer S K Soonee said.
Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO), part of state-run Power Grid, manages the transmission grids in the country.
“Emergency transmission services are being restored. The work is on and in a few hours, the National Grid would be completely restored,” Power Secretary P Uma Shankar said.
According to officials, presently, electricity from Eastern and Western grids are being diverted to Northern grid.