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Grid failure hits western Maharashtra

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MUMBAI, May 23

A GRID failure left suburban Mumbai and large parts of western Maharashtra and Goa power-less for about six hours this morning.

Though supply was restored to most parts by around 2 p.m., some areas were still without power in the evening.

According to Power Grid Corporation's western region officials, while Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and eastern Maharashtra got "islanded and survived'' the power failure, Goa and the entire western Maharashtra, except some parts of Mumbai city, went without power for most part of the day.

Some of Tata Power's generating units, which supply power to Mumbai city got islanded and survived the tripping while BSES's Dahanu power station tripped choking supply to the suburbs.

Mr P.S. Pandya, Executive Director, BSES, said one unit at Dahanu was back on track by 1.30 p.m. while the other started by 3 p.m. ``The Dahanu plant got caught in cascade tripping of power stations due to the grid disturbance,'' Mr Pandya said.

At the time of tripping, — 8.58 a.m. — the demand in the system was 18,000 MW and about 3,800-MW load-shedding was on.

According to Mr A.K. Mago, Chairman, Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB), the eastern side, which is where the generation is concentrated, tripped due to under-frequency and the western side, where the consumption load is high tripped of over-frequency. Mr Mago said at MSEB's Chandrapur power station two units survived the grid disturbance and at Goradi, three units survived. He said the problem originated in the Indore-Asoj line between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Power Grid officials said the grid has been under severe load pressure and power transfer has been critical for about a week now. A recent cyclonein eastern Maharashtra and Chattisgarh had disrupted the grid in the region. About 10 towers on the Jabalpur-Itarsi circuit had collapsed. The storm also uprooted about eleven 400 Kv towers on the Chandrapur-Parli circuits I, II and III, and eight 220 Kv towers on the Raipur-Bhatapara section.

The emergency restoration system of Power Grid was restoring the Jabalpur-Itarsi circuit, which, the officials said would be complete by today evening. They said today at 6.20 a.m. there was a disturbance in western Maharashtra but the grid did not collapse. Later, at 8.58 a.m., the 400 Kv Bableshwar-Padge double circuit line tripped which, in turn, tripped the Itarsi-Dhule line. The load fluctuation tripped the major generating stations such as Koyna, Nashik, Bhusawal, Parli and Dahanu, which led to the massive power failure in the region.

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