Power grid fails; north India reels under severe outage

Massive power outage impact public transport systems including,Railways and Delhi Metro.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2012 8:03:15 am

Entire north India today plunged into the worst power crisis in a decade throwing normal life out of gear for several hours in eight states with collapse of the Northern Grid early morning.

From Railways to Delhi Metro to water supplies,many of the services were severely hit since the grid failed at 2:35 am. Office-goers and students faced harrowing times in the national capital where the Metro train services were disrupted.

Delhi,Punjab,Haryana,Rajasthan,Uttar Pradesh,Uttarakhand,Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir suffered the power outage. Besides,union territory of Chandigarh was also snapped from the grid.

Till afternoon,Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that 60 per cent of electricity supply had resumed. He said that power was drawn from Bhutan and Eastern and Western grids as generating stations in the North had come to a halt.

Normalcy would take a few more hours,officials said.

More than 8,000 MW capacity of the country’s largest electricity producer NTPC,spread across six power plants,was hit.

Shinde said,”the fault is not known as yet… somewhere near Agra,a failure has happened. We will inquire (into) that”. However,Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf blamed neighbouring states for over drawing electricity from the grid.

Services of about 300 trains,including Rajdhani,Shatbadi and Duronto,were severely affected.

Shinde announced a three-member panel to look into the power failure,the worst since 2002.

The grid failure not only impacted more than one fourth of the country’s population but also several industrial areas and the information technology services in Gurgaon and Noida in the NCR region.

“In 2001 and 2002,grid failure had happened. After 10 years it has happened now…the grid at that time (2001-02) failed during midnight and was only restored at 4:30 pm,” Shinde said.

Most parts of north India especially Delhi went without electricity for about many hours. The power supply situation is slowly coming back to normal in the states.

When contacted at 2 PM,POSOCO Chief Executive Officer S K Soonee said that the Northern Grid would be restored fully in a couple of hours.

“Delhi has got its full load. Now about 23,000 MW electricity is available on northern grid while the demand is over 35,000 MW,” Soonee said.

Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO),part of state-run Power Grid,manages the transmission grids in the country.

Currently,the Northern Grid is getting about 5,447 MW from Eastern and Western Grids.

The Northern Grid,which is estimated to cater to around 28 per cent of country’s population,had seen a major collapse in 2001-02. In January 2010 too,the Northern Grid had tripped due to fog moisture.

Delhi blames UP,Punjab and Haryana for grid collapse

The Delhi government accused Uttar Pradesh,Haryana and Punjab of overdrawing power from the Northern Grid which led to its collapse triggering severe power cuts in the national capital besides long outages in most parts of North India.

Delhi Power Minister Harun Yusuf,quoting official figures,said Uttar Pradesh was overdrawing 900 MW of power more than the allotted quantity from the grid at 2 am while overdrawal by Haryana and Punjab was 580 MW and 500 MW respectively.

The Northern Grid,which caters to power supply in nine states and Union Territories – Punjab,Haryana,Rajasthan,Delhi,Uttar Pradesh,Uttarakhand,Himachal Pradesh,J & K and Chandigarh – collapsed at 2.35 am today.

Almost entire Delhi went without power for about eight hours today following collapse of the grid severely affecting various services including Metro operation,train services and production of water at six major water treatment plants in the city.

Delhi power failure

Most parts of Delhi went without electricity for about eight hours due to the Grid collapse.

“Delhi government or power distribution companies have no role to play in this crisis. It was a major technical fault in the Grid. We expect the situation to be normalised in the next four-five hours (by afternoon),” Delhi government officials said.

The situation was no different in Punjab and Haryana,where engineers were trying hard to restore the supply,officials said in Chandigarh.

“It is going to take at least 4-5 hours to restore the power supply in entire Punjab,” Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd,Director Distribution Arun Verma said.

Haryana Special Power Secretary,Tarun Bajaj said that though efforts were on to restore the supply,”it may take few hours to bring situation to normalcy. Every unit takes time to restart”.

In Uttar Pradesh,a top official said that about 50 per cent of the supply had been restored.

“The power supply,which was severely affected after 2.30 AM due to failure in the Northern Grid has been restored in 50 per cent of the areas in the state”,Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) Managing Director Avnish Awasthi said in Lucknow.

He said that supply in Lucknow and Varanasi was restored by 6.30 am. By 10.30 am,it was restored in 50 per cent areas in the state,he said,adding that the supply had been re-started in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

In Rajasthan,the situation had started improving in some parts of the state. Electricity supply had been restored in areas of Jaipur and the supply would further improve due course,an official in the state capital said.

Power Trading Director P S Chandelia said that due to rainfall last night,the electricity demand had decreased in Rajasthan.

More than 8,000 MW capacity of the country’s largest electricity producer NTPC,spread across six power plants,had been hit by the grid failure.

“We are trying our best to restore the supply from most of our generating stations by the afternoon,” an NTPC official said.

NTPC’s six plants — Singrauli (2,000 MW),Rihand (2,500 MW),Dadri (1,820 MW),Auriya (652 MW),Anta (413 MW) and Badarpur (705 MW) — stopped generating following the failure. Many of them were being partially restored,the official said.

India has five electricity grids — Northern,Eastern,North Eastern,Southern and Western. All of them are inter-connected,except the Southern grid.

All the grids are being run by the state-owned Power Grid Corporation,which operates more than 95,000 circuit km of transmission lines.

One circuit km refers to one kilometre of electrical transmission line.

Delhi blames UP,Punjab and Haryana for grid collapse

Delhi government today accused Uttar Pradesh,Haryana and Punjab for overdrawing power from the Northern Grid which led to its collapse,triggering severe power cuts here and asked Union Power Minister to direct the states to follow discipline while drawing power.

Delhi Power Minister Harun Yusuf,quoting official figures,said Uttar Pradesh was overdrawing 900 MW of power more than the allotted quantity from the grid at 2 AM while overdrawal by Haryana and Punjab was 580 MW and 500 MW respectively.

In the evening,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Yusuf met Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and requested him to direct the states to maintain discipline while drawing power from the Northern Grid.

The Northern Grid,which caters to power supply in nine states and Union Territories — Punjab,Haryana,Rajasthan,Delhi,Uttar Pradesh,Uttarakhand,Himachal Pradesh,J&K and Chandigarh — collapsed at 2.35 AM today.

Almost entire Delhi went without power for about eight hours today following the collapse of the Grid severely affecting various services including Metro operation,train services and production of water at six major water treatment plants in the city.

“The Grid collapsed due to overdrawal of power by Uttar Pradesh,Haryana and Punjab. To ensure safety of the grid,Delhi has been drawing less power than the allotted quantity.

The Union Power Ministry must take strong action to ensure Grid discipline,” Yusuf said.

“The grid collapsed due to overdrawal of power by Uttar Pradesh,Haryana and Punjab. To ensure safety of the grid,Delhi has been drawing less power than the allotted quantity.

The Union Power Ministry must take strong action to ensure grid discipline,” Yusuf said.

He alleged Uttar Pradesh,Haryana and Punjab have been overdrawing power from the grid consistently. “As per figures for last two days,these three states have been overdrawing power on hourly basis,forcing Delhi and Rajasthan to underdraw electricity.”

Yusuf said power supply has been restored in most parts of the city by around 11:30 AM. Residents in certain localities of West Delhi and South Delhi complained that power supply resumed in their areas only at around 1 PM.

He said supply was restored at Delhi Airport,AIIMS and the Prime Minister’s Office at 4 AM while supply to Delhi Metro and Lutyens Bungalow Zone was resumed at 6:30 AM.

Yusuf said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had taken up with the Union Power Ministry the issue of overdrawal of power from Northern Grid by a number of neighbouring states.

Officials said operation at a number of power generation station in Delhi had to be stopped following collapse of the grid and the plants are expected to return to optimum level of production in the late evening.

“The disturbance in the grid also resulted in the tripping of generating stations in Delhi,except Badarpur Tharmal Power Station,” they said.

Delhi’s peak demand just before the collapse of the grid was recorded at 3,384 MW and only 153 MW of power could be supplied at 6:59 AM.

The officials said Union Power Ministry arranged supply of electricity from a hydel power station in Bhutan to restore various essential services like metro network.

The officials said power distribution companies have been resorting to load shedding to the tune of around 250 MW on the advice of Northern Region Load Despatch Centre to reduce the load on Agra¿Gwalior inter regional 765 KV line.

Yusuf said a number of power plants,including Rihand,Singroli and Dadri in neighbouring states from where Delhi gets electricity,had to be shut down as precautionary measure following the problem in the grid.

“It will take time to bring the plants to optimum level of production. We hope the situation will return to normal soon,” he said.

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