Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut has warned that switching off lights for nine minutes on 5 April may result in grid failure and it could take at least a week to restore services. Raut has urged Prime Minister to rethink his call for turning off lights for nine minutes at 9 PM in his video message broadcast on Friday.
In a video message recorded in Marathi, Raut said, “We should rethink before turning off lights at the same time in our homes. Switching off the electricity at one time can reduce the electricity demand. If all lights are switched off at one time for nine minutes there is a possibility of a grid collapse resulting in a blackout in the entire country.”
He said that the power demand in Maharashtra at present had come down from 23,000 MW to 13,000 MW, adding that the industry load was zero due to the current lockdown. He said, “If the electricity is switched off together, all power stations can go on high frequency and there is possibility of grid tripping. If all power stations are shut, there can be multi-state grid failure.”
(Power Minister, Govt of Maharashtra) explains repercussions of power off mode & how a thoughtless announcement from PRime Minister Modi will cost the Power Industry and how it can cause long time power cut in this hour of crisis, specifically in hospitals. pic.twitter.com/TcpyxY5aWA
— Maharashtra Pradesh Mahila Congress (@MaharashtraPMC) April 4, 2020
Modi, in his video message on Friday, had urged Indians to switch off lights at 9 PM on 5 April and instead light diyas (earthen lamps) and mobile phone flash to fight the darkness caused by coronavirus.
Union Power Ministry has said in a statement that the call to switch off lights between 9 PM and 9.09 PM was voluntary. It also termed the fear of the grid failure ‘misplaced.’
India has registered 68 deaths to coronavirus, while 2,650 people have tested positive for the virus.