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Power blackout: Minister blames states for over-use

Last updated on: July 30, 2012 11:42 IST

Power blackout: Minister blames states for over-use

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Onkar Singh

Most parts of north India reeled under severe power outages on Monday, due to collapse of the northern electricity transmission grid early in the morning.

"The fault is not known as yet...Somewhere near Agra, a failure has happened. We will enquire that," Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.

Even though the exact reason for the grid failure is yet to be ascertained, official sources said that many lines tripped, possibly due to over-withdrawal of power by some states.

Shinde has appointed a high power committee to go into the causes of failure of Northern Grid.

"It looks like some states withdrew more power than required. I have constituted a committee of experts and they will examine and file a report on the entire issue in detail. We will take stern action against the erring states. This has happened despite 5000 megawatt additional electricity availability in the northern grid," the minister said.

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Shinde claimed that when there was a major power breakdown in the United States in 2003, the US had asked for the services of Indian experts. It took four days to restore power there.

In India, we are likely restore power in less then 12 hours of its failure, he added.

The collapse of the Northern Power Grid impacted public transport systems including, Railways and Delhi Metro.

"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.

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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, electricity from the Eastern and Western Grids is being diverted to the Northern Grid.

The Northern Grid, which is estimated to cater to around 28 per cent of country's population, had failed due to fog moisture in January 2010.

One of the largest in the country, it covers nine regions -- Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh.

As per the National Load Despatch Centre, the Northern Grid was affected at around 2.35 am. NLDC is the apex body that ensures smooth functioning of the national power system.

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