Almost half of India has gone dark with the Northern, Eastern and North-Eastern grids collapsing, affecting 20 States.

Not even 24 hours after power supply was restored in North India following the collapse of the Northern Grid in the wee hours of Monday, electricity supply in the region has once again been disrupted.

Against a demand of 3,700-3,800 MW in Delhi at around 1p.m., the distribution companies are not getting any supplies from the Northern Grid. The point of disruption is yet to be ascertained, say Power Ministry officials.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Power Grid Corporation, Mr R.N. Nayak, expressed confidence that power can be restored by 7 p.m. Already 17-20 per cent restoration has happened in the North, 20 per cent in the East and almost 50 per cent in the North-East region, he said.

"Some sectors are overdrawing, we don't want to name them," he added. However, fingers are being pointed at Uttar Pradesh as the culprit.

Around 10,000 MW of total demand of 55,000 megwatt has been restored so far. The grid has tripped today at 49.7 hz, he said.

On Monday, Northern India experienced its worst electricity disruption in almost a decade. Power supply to nearly eight States was completely cut off a couple of hours after Sunday midnight. The reason was the collapse of the Northern Grid near Agra at around 2.25 am. Yesterday, India sourced 8,200 MW from Bhutan to restores supplies and also power was brought from the Eastern Grid.

'Unfortunate accident'

The Power Minister, Mr Sushilkumar Shinde, termed the grid collapse as an unfortunate accident. He said that his MInistry was trying to identify the reasons for it. The Minister said efforts were on to revive the grids within two hours.

The Minister also said that his Ministry had people on the job to restore power. Alternative arrangements have been made.

Mr Shinde said: "States are drawing more than the limit. I have asked for strict punishment for overdrawing power.''

The grid collapsed around 1:05 pm today. Overdrawal of power mainly happens when States are unable to meet their own requirements locally. Indications are that power could be drawn from the western region for restoration.

Delhi has five power distribution companies.

(This article was published on July 31, 2012)
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