Follow palashbiswaskl on Twitter

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Privatisation of electricity and Monsoon deficit take the toll!World`s Biggest Black Out! Entire Northern, North Eastern, Western and Eastern power girds collapsed!Leading to power failure in several States of the country affecting hundreds of millio

Privatisation of electricity and Monsoon deficit take the toll!World`s Biggest Black Out! Entire Northern, North Eastern, Western and Eastern power girds collapsed!Leading to power failure in several States of the country affecting hundreds of millions of people.

Palash Biswas

yes, it is the world`s Biggest Balck Out!A massive power failure has hit India for the second day running as three regional power grids collapsed, blacking out more than half the country.Hundreds of miners were trapped underground in the eastern state of West Bengal when the lifts failed, metro services were stopped temporarily in the capital and hundreds of trains were held up nationwide.The whole Northern Grid collapsed yesterday for over six hours. From Rashtrapati Bhavan to small villages in the nine states of North India, there was no power during that time. Restoration has been slow. Hospitals, hotels, schools, colleges or homes, there was a blackout everywhere.The last time the Northern Grid had collapsed was in early 2001, on a cold day of the season. Then, I was the chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), created in 1998,the first Chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission writes.

For the second day in a row, North India found itself without power. This time, the extent of the crisis was much worse - the East, West and even North East were affected too.The northern, north eastern, western and eastern grids tripped on Tuesday, leading to power failure in several States of the country affecting hundreds of millions of people.While the northern grid collapsed for the second time in two days, the eastern transmission lines too failed on Tuesday afternoon, said officials at the Power Ministry and electricity companies.Power supply was disrupted in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Assam and Punjab, among other States.hose in Government find it easiest to pass the buck. The states blame the Centre. The Centre blames the states. Power is on the Concurrent List of the Constitution. Both the Centre and states must share the blame.The responsibility for distributing available power inefficiently falls on the states.The Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the main advisory body to the Union power minister, has set a target of 100,000 mw of additional power generation in the period of the 12th five-year plan between 2012 and 2017. That is what is needed to meet the power demand of an economy forecast to grow at 9 per cent per annum. The Planning Commission accepts this target but Environment Ministry does not which says that the target is "ecologically unsustainable".The fallout of the nuclear accident in Japan means that thermal power is back at the forefront. Hydro power continues to flounder because of concerns over rehabilitation and resettlement.

This seems to be a greater conspiracy as the Private companies managing Electricity often blackmail the government for Hike in tarriffs to boost their profit. Deregulated electricity has the same story worldwide. For instance, the Company managing Electricity in New Delhi is garnering enough profit since 2008. Despite this, the prices were modified in favour of the company. But the company wants more. It is very common to bargain for higher rates showcasing Power crisis. What happened exactly. Mind, you, the government faced calls for urgent reform of the power sector Tuesday, after a monster blackout triggered the collapse of the entire northern grid, affecting more than 300 million people. Leading the high-decibel reform choir were business lobby groups who said Monday's outage -- the worst to hit the country in a decade -- underlined the government's inability to address India's perennial electricity shortfall. 

"The north, northeastern and the eastern grids are down but we are working and we will have them restored shortly," Naresh Kumar, a spokesperson at the Powergrid Corporation of India, told AFP.

Federal Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters that the monster outage, which struck in the middle of the working day, was caused by states drawing power "beyond their permissible limits."

There appeared to have been a domino effect, with the northern grid drawing too heavily on the eastern grid which in turn led the northeastern grid to collapse.

"Half the country is without power. It's a situation totally without precedent," said Vivek Pandit, an energy expert at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Privatisation of electricity and Monsoon deficit take the toll!Grid failure hit India for a second day on Tuesday, cutting power to hundreds of millions of people in the populous northern and eastern states including the capital Delhi and major cities such as Kolkata.Privatization is the means to introducing competition in the electricity market, not an end in itself. Genuine competition would imply that electricity consumers are actually free to choose from competing service providers: this is simply not the situation in case of franchisees.In some of the states, it has been decided to hand over the urban feeders to the franchise!Is privatization is the solution to the ailing power sector. This seems to be a question needing a thorough analysis and transparent intention of the government. Any thing done in the good spirit will yield fruits, but if intention is not good the success of any attempt is doubtful. The loss in the urban feeder is much less as compared to the losses in rural feeders. The government should impose a pre condition that the revenue input based franchisee interested in taking up urban substation should also take proportionate rural feeder on the revenue input based franchisee basis. The electricity utility is required to generate return on equity to be decided by CERC, this was 14% for the tariff year 2008-09 but this was not taken into account by the UPERC while arriving at the tariff due to poor performance of this sector. Return on equity measures a corporation's profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested. 

In economic terms, electricity (both power and energy) is a commodity capable of being bought, sold and traded. An electricity market is a system for effecting purchases, through bids to buy; sales, through offers to sell; and short-term trades, generally in the form of financial or obligation swaps. Bids and offers use supply and demand principles to set the price. Long-term trades are contracts similar to power purchase agreements and generally considered private bi-lateral transactions between counterparties.

Wholesale transactions (bids and offers) in electricity are typically cleared and settled by the market operator or a special-purpose independent entity charged exclusively with that function. Market operators do not clear trades but often require knowledge of the trade in order to maintain generation and load balance. The commodities within an electric market generally consist of two types: power and energy. Power is the metered net electrical transfer rate at any given moment and is measured in megawatts (MW). Energy is electricity that flows through a metered point for a given period and is measured in megawatt hours (MWh).

Markets for energy related commodities are net generation output for a number of intervals usually in increments of 5, 15 and 60 minutes. Markets for power related commodities required by, managed by (and paid for by) market operators to ensure reliability, are considered ancillary services and include such names as spinning reserve, non-spinning reserve, operating reserves, responsive reserve, regulation up, regulation down, and installed capacity.
In addition, for most major operators, there are markets for transmission congestion and electricity derivatives, such as electricity futures and options, which are actively traded. These markets developed as a result of the restructuring of electric power systems around the world. This process has often gone on in parallel with the restructuring of natural gas markets.

I don`t know how to work today. We suffered Load shedding already. and now Electricity may go off anytime.AsThe entire northern and eastern power girds collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, knocking off electricity in the entire metro services have come to a halt in Delhi, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa. 

NTPC, as the principal generator supplying the northern states, did not cut generation. PowerGrid, the inter-state transmission utility that controlled the state load dispatch centres and had moment-to-moment information on demand and supply of power, was not alert enough to take corrective action.

The central government, which owned NTPC and had determined its tariffs and incentives, gave it an incentive to produce at more than its plant load factor of 64 per cent. This was because the imperative in those years (as it is now) was to generate as much electricity as possible. But NTPC was already producing at 80 per cent plant load factor (PLF) and was earning incentives without any special effort. Any backing down of generation by NTPC would have meant serious loss of earnings. So, it kept pumping electricity on to the grid, even as demand was low. This led to the frequency soaring and the grid's collapse.

The Delhi Metro came to a standstill yet again on Tuesday afternoon after services were suspended for two hours due to collapse of the Northern Power Grid for the second consecutive day.Traffic was thrown out of gear in the capital this afternoon when signals went blank following power failure across north India.

Huge traffic jams were reported from various parts of the capital, including Connaught Place, ITO, Ashoka Road, India Gate and Laxmi Nagar.

Mamata blames Centre for Grid failure but says will work with Centre to get past the crisis.

- Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee announces a holiday in the state to enable people to reach their homes safely in the wake of Eastern Grid failure.

The failure of North-Eastern grid has affected power units of Damodar Valley Corporation in Jharkhand with several parts of the state going without electricity.

"Several units ceased to work following the failure of North-Eastern Grid section," DVC Chief Engineer (Chandrapura power unit) R Basuri said.

Mizia Thermal Power, Durgapur Thermal Power, Bokaro Thermal Power and Maithon Hydel Power in Jharkhand and neighbouring West Bengal are under the DVC, he said.

The West Bengal government on Tuesday declared a holiday in its offices after 3:00pm following the grid failure to enable employees to return home early, especially those who commute by train.

"We have taken a decision to declare a holiday in state government offices after 3:00 PM so that the employees can return home early in the absence of trains which are not running due to power failure," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at Writers' Buildings.

She said private offices were also requested to declare a holiday similarly in the interest of employees.

Stating that it might take 10 to 12 hours for restoration of normal power supply, she asked TV channels not to create panic over the issue.

Banerjee said she held an emergency meeting and spoke to the Railways to restart normal services within two to three hours and to see if trains could be run with diesel engines in the suburban sections.

The chief minister said Metro Rail services in Kolkata were unaffected.

Transport arrangements were being arranged for people by bus and lorry, she said.

Banerjee said the state government was not responsible for the power failure and that it was the fallout of the power outage in the northern grid.

"The crisis started from northern India with the failure of the mother grid and after the trippings there, a complex situation developed which impacted the eastern grid affecting all parts of the state, besides Bihar and Orissa," she said.

She said that a monitoring committee was formed led by private power utility, CESC limited.

- Power restored in the NDMC area and the Delhi Metro; Power restored to hospitals as well; Power restored through Delhi's own production; A little bit of normalisation can be seen in northern grid as well.

- Power restored in some parts of Odisha by getting power from the Southern Grid and the state hydro power.

- Partial services restored on all Delhi Metro lines with a frequency of ten minutes, to begin with, from 1450 hrs: Delhi Metro

- Delhi traffic signals not working. Delhi Traffic Police trying to regulate manually, maximum deployment on major points.

- Traffic heavy on Ring Road, ITO, Bagga Link, Outer Circle Connaught Place.

- The core issue is nothing but indiscipline: Anil Razdan, ex-power secretary

- Train movement on Delhi-Mathura rail route has begun.

- Partial metro services restored in all metro lines.

- Delhi Metro says power partially restored, train services to resume soon: Sources

- Power supply has been completely restored: Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital

- East India 20 per cent power restored, North East 50 per cent power restored; Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura completely back to normalcy: Sources

- Delhi-Howrah rail route partially restored: CPRO Railways

- Power partially restored in East and North East: sources

- 3000MW overdrawn from the eastern grid, demand strict punishment for overdrawing: Sushil Kumar Shinde

- Wrong to allege that UP is overdrawing power, says UP Power Corporation CMD AP Mishra.

- Bhakra Nangal plant has been started and we are drawing hydel power for the time being for Punjab: Sushil Kumar Shinde

- Western Grid not impacted: Western Grid General Manger

- North Eastern Grid also affected, say officials.

- Kolkata Metro running normal, as supply comes from CAC power supply: Pratyush, DGM of Kolkata Metro.

- We will try to restore services of Delhi Metro and the Railways first: Sushil Kumar Shinde

- South Eastern Railway: Four divisions including Kharargpur, Chakradharpur, Ranchi and Agra are affected. Since South Eastern Railway is completely electrified and not dependent on diesel power, the situation is really bad in this region.

- Eighty passenger trains of South Eastern Railway stranded.

- Fourteen trains in Agra Division stranded.

- States affected: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam and Sikkim.

- Hydel power giving power to Punjab: Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde

- Trying to make alternate arrangements: Shinde

- Almost 500 trains of the Indian Railway stuck.

- Six zones including Northern Railway, Eastern Railway, North Central Railway affected: Anil Saxena, CPRO Railways

- Train services halted in Asansol, Sealdah, Howrah divisions in West Bengal after failure of Eastern grid at 1:00 PM: Railways.

- Delhi Police advisory to avoid Connaught Place area.

- Central Electricity Regulatory Commission issued an order on July 30 to curb overdrawing by Northern Grid member states.

- All heads of State Power Transmission Companies of Northern Grid summoned on August 14.

- The states who have been held responsible for maximum over-drawing are Uttar Pradesh (average daily over-drawing by 26 million units), Haryana (average daily over-drawing by 13 million units), Punjab (average daily over-drawing by 5.2 million units).

- Chaos on roads in Delhi with the metro rails and the traffic lights not working.

- Additional Secretary, Power, has reached the Power Monitoring Centre.

- LNJP Hospital in Delhi says they are not facing any powercut at the moment. Other hospitals like AIIMS and Safdarjung say they have enough power back up for the time being.

- Power grid statement says all essential services will be restored in next two hours.

- Narora Atomic Power Station in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh is the only power plant that is working.
- Air services unaffected, flights on time from Delhi.

- DMRC officials have also asked government if hydel project in Bhutan can be used again today to run essential services.

- WB Power Secretary says no power likely till late night.

- Bokaro steel plant will have to be shut down if the power crisis continues.

- CPRO Northern Railways says alternative arrangements like diesel power are being considered.

- CPRO Northern Railways says about 100 trains are affected. Worst affected sections include the Ambala-Palwal and the Ghaziabad-Mugalsarai sections.

- 100 Megawatt of emergency power is being given to VVIP areas.

- Hospitals across the north and east in darkness. All government hospitals have switched to in-house power back-up. ICUs can be operated comfortably for few hours at least.

- Work on to provide more emergency power

- Actual location of the fault is still not known

- DMRC is refunding the passengers and evacuating them

For the second time in two days, half of India plunged into darkness after the Northern and the Eastern Grids collapsed, affecting all seven states in the north and the states of Sikkim, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand in the

 It's peak summer in most parts of India. Demand for power is at a peak of 2,17,000 mega watt. Our power generation, however, is much less at 1,99,877 mega watt. Poor transmission and distribution makes it even worse.
Many cities such as Chennai, Bangalore and the capital itself, Delhi, have long power cuts.
Forty per cent of the country does not get electricity at all. About six lakh villages do not have any network to receive electricity.

CNN-IBN has learnt that around 30 power stations have just about a week's coal left to fuel the power plants.

Environment Ministry is worried about the impact this additional generation will have on climate change. Seventy per cent of this additional capacity is to be added through coal-based thermal power. Given the dismal record over the past 20 years, Environment Ministry need not worry about the Government meeting its target. According to Planning Commission estimates, only an average of 50.5 per cent of overall targets were met in the eighth, ninth and tenth five-year plans between 1992 and 2007.Every major political formation has governed the country in that period none has much to be proud of in terms of performance in the power sector. The target for the 11th plan (2007-2012) has already been revised downwards from 78,700 mw to 62,374 mw. With a year and a half to go until the end of 2012, only around 50 per cent of that revised target has been achieved. Realistically speaking, the Government will do well to hit 60 per cent of its original target by the end of 2012.he most serious bottleneck in generation is the shortage of coal. At the end of 2007, the gap between the demand and supply of coal was 35 million tonnes. It is expected to be around 83 million tonnes at the end of 2012. Says the mid-term appraisal document of the Planning Commission: "The shortage would have been even more had all the planned coal-based power plants been commissioned on time." By 2017, the shortage is forecast to be 200 million tonnes.

The widespread electricity blackouts in the north-eastern states of the US are merely the latest in a long line of electricity crises caused by electricity privatisation and deregulation. Blackouts have been experienced from California to Buenos Aires to Auckland. They have been experienced in South Australia and predicted for NSW. Government bailouts of electricity companies have been necessary in California and Britain. Electricity has had to be rationed in Brazil and it has become too expensive for millions of people from India to South Africa.

Dozens of governments have embarked on the pathway to electricity deregulation and privatisation since the mid-1990s. It has become the accepted wisdom amongst governments and opinion leaders. It is referred to as 'liberalisation' by its advocates who use the term to disguise what is in essence a massive shift of ownership and control of electricity from public to private hands, in the name of economic efficiency and in the cause of private profits.Privatization is resorted to by developing country governments mainly to augment resource mobilization either on their own initiative or under the dictat of the World Bank, and less as a recipe for efficiency improvement.

'Liberalisation' has meant that maintenance teams that were once fully staffed have been dramatically cut leading to frequent equipment failures. It has meant that privately owned electricity conglomerates are able to blackmail governments into bailouts and high prices with threats of blackouts. And it has meant that the planning function of electricity authorities that once ensured adequate generating reserves for times of peak demand, and kept infrastructure up to date, have been abandoned to market forces. Because of market forces electricity prices are based, not on the cost of production, but on how desperately consumers want electricity and this has led to sky-rocketing prices whenever private companies have been able to limit supply in times of high demand.

The privatisation of electricity is not something that citizens have demanded nor wanted. In general, there has been very little public participation in electricity reform decisions and as the consequences are observed, there have been many bitter protests against electricity privatisation. Popular uprisings have occurred in Argentina, India, Indonesia and Ghana. Protests have halted privatisation proposals in Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay. In the Dominican Republic several people were killed during protests against blackouts imposed by privatised companies. In South Africa thousands marched during a two day general strike to protest privatisation, which they labelled "born-again apartheid".

"The increasing gap between electricity supply and demand has long been a matter of concern," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry. 

The CII, Banerjee said, has "consistently highlighted" the need for urgent steps to improve supplies of coal to thermal power plants and reforming state distribution utilities. 

"This latest outage is just an urgent reminder for addressing these issues as a priority," he added. 

While the cause of the blackout has yet to be confirmed, Indian newspapers joined numerous experts in pointing the finger of suspicion at energy-hungry states overdrawing their allotted quantity of power. 

The northern grid went completely down for six hours on Monday morning, stranding hundreds of trains, triggering transport chaos in cities and leaving a region that houses 28 percent of India's 1.2 billion population without power. 

With India running a peak-hour electricity deficit of 12 percent, power cuts are a daily necessity, and states frequently seek to mitigate the problem by exceeding what is meant to be a carefully controlled power quota. 

Although there are financial penalties for overdrawing from the grid, it is still a cheaper option than buying power on the open market for cash-starved state electricity boards. 

A member of a three-man team set up by the power ministry to investigate Monday's outage said most states were impervious to official warnings about overdrawing. 

"These states have lost all fear. They overdraw from the grid to avoid paying costly power from the market," the panel member, who declined to be identified, told the Business Standard newspaper. 

Vivek Pandit, the director of energy, defence and aerospace at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said such "gross grid indiscipline" could only be remedied with drastic penalties. 

"Some states are holding the whole grid to ransom and they should be taken off the grid for a day to stop them feeling they can just act with impunity," Pandit said. 

Alok Brara, publisher of the industry magazine Powerline, said the reluctance of state utilities to purchase power from national energy trading exchanges reflected deep structural problems in both supply and pricing. 

"For every 100 units they buy, they will lose 30 to theft. Another 40 will be earmarked for sale to agricultural consumers at highly subsidised prices, leaving just 30 units to sell at a remunerative rate," Brara said. 

"So the argument for them is the more they buy, the more money they lose," he added. 

Apart from an overall increase in power generation investment, analysts and business lobby groups say the most pressing need at state level is to rationalise tariffs and crackdown on widespread power theft. 

"Over the years, people have just got used to taking free electricity," said Pandit. 

"They pay telephone bills because they know that otherwise they'll be cut off. The same doesn't go for electricity bills." 

Several newspaper editorials on Tuesday pushed for reforms allowing competition in all areas of the power industry -- generation, transmission and distribution -- and freeing up pricing to make consumers more responsible for the electricity they use.

Even as North India was reeling under massive power failure, Team Anna smelled a conspiracy behind the failure of the northern grid. Sanjay Singh, a key Team Anna member alleged that the central government was behind the power crisis in the country. 

"Government can cut the grid, cut the light, cut the metro services, bus, auto services but people will come out and join the Anna Hazare's movement," Sanjay was quoted as saying. 

Meanwhile, Anna Hazare's fast-unto-death entered day two on Monday at Jantar Mantar to press for a strong Lokpal Bill. The Gandhian had joined his three close aides on fast yesterday inspite of many warning him about his health. 

Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai went on an indefinite fast on July 25. Anna's fast came after his four-day ultimatum to the government to concede to his demands on Lokpal Bill found no response.

"Till we get Jan Lokpal, the countrymen will not allow me to die", Hazare had said addressing his supporters yesterday. 

Delhi Metro has stopped runnig and passengers are being asked to leave trains. The power crisis follows Monday's monster blackout triggered the collapse of the entire northern grid, affecting more than 300 million people.Standstill
Power was gradually flickering back in some areas several hours after the crisis struck, but was not expected to be fully restored until later in the day.

In New Delhi, the metro train system came to a standstill and traffic lights were out, causing chaos for a second day after a failure on the northern grid on Monday which caused the nation's worst outage in more than a decade.

"Drivers of all the metro trains have been asked to stop at the stations. No passengers will be allowed in the metro station until power is restored," said a spokesperson for the network which carries two million people a day.

The city's hospitals and airports, accustomed to the regular outages caused by load-shedding, said they had switched to generators and back-up systems to keep their operations running normally.

About 400 trains on the extensive national railway network were affected by the outage, a spokesperson for the railways told AFP, with all operations stopped in Uttar Pradesh. With nearly 200-million people, this one state alone has a population bigger than Brazil's.

In the east, the massive city of Kolkata went without power as did the surrounding state of West Bengal as the eastern grid, which supplies five states, failed under the stress of over-demand.

"This is the worst power crisis in the region. We were supplying power to the northern grid and this power sharing has led to the collapse," West Bengal Power Minister, Manish Gupta, told AFP.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters that "hundreds" of miners had been trapped in mines operated by the government-owned Eastern Coalfields in Burdwan, about 180km northwest of Kolkata.

"All efforts are on to resume power supplies. You need power supplies to run the lifts in the underground mines," she said, while declaring that state employees could go home for the day.

Smriti Mehra, a teller in a Bank of India branch in New Delhi, said the latest outage had caused chaos at work.

Disruption and inconvenience
"Our main server is down. We have had to send back so many of our customers. There is no internet, nothing is working," Mehra said.

"It is a total breakdown of everything in our office," she added.

On Monday, the northern grid collapsed for six hours shortly after 2am, causing massive travel disruption and widespread inconvenience in nine states including the capital New Delhi.

In total, 20 out of 29 states were affected on Tuesday, according to an AFP calculation.

Shinde, the power minister, had called Monday's outage a "failure" but also boasted that India had been quick to restore power, unlike the US which took days to restore electricity after a 2003 blackout on its eastern seaboard.

India's shortfall
He and the rest of the government woke up on Tuesday to a barrage of calls for urgent reform of the power sector.

Leading the charge were business lobby groups who said Monday's outage underlined the government's inability to address India's perennial electricity shortfall.

"The increasing gap between electricity supply and demand has long been a matter of concern," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The CII, Banerjee said, has "consistently highlighted" the need for urgent steps to improve supplies of coal to thermal power plants and reforming state distribution utilities. 

 Eight states in north India witnessed the decade's worst ever power crisis for more than 15 hours on Monday as the northern grid collapsed at 2.33am. Even the Capital stayed unplugged for 10 hours.Northern grid fails again; power cut in Delhi, neighbouring areas!Entire north India had plunged into the worst power crisis in a decade yesterday throwing normal life out of gear for several hours in eight states due to collapse of the northern grid.Delhi and various other areas in neighbouring states faced a power cut for the second successive day today as the northern grid failed again.

"Yes, I've heard that the northern and eastern grids have failed. We are looking into the matter. We are inquiring," Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.

The power crisis led to immediate shutdown of Delhi Metro lines in the national capital, while a host of other services including railways were also affected.

"We are again having problems in northern grid," K. Soonee, CEO of Power System Operating Co said.

Power Ministry officials said that eastern grid has also failed. The reasons for the grid failure were not immediately known.

While an almost 15-hour power crisis was seen in the northern part on Monday, the crisis on Tuesday reached the eastern region as well.

Delhi government officials said the northern grid failed at around 1:30 pm, when the national capital had a demand of around 4,000 MW. Only 38 MW was being supplied at around 1:45 pm.

Only yesterday,After hours of blackout due to a breakdown of the Northern Grid early Monday, power supply was restored to almost 80 percent areas of Delhi by noon, officials said. Delhi blamed Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for overdrawing power that caused the grid's collapse.

"At 2:33 a.m. the frequency was very low at Northern Grid and it collapsed. Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were drawing between 2,500 and 3,000 mega-watts," Delhi's Power Minister Haroon Yusuf told reporters here.
A failure in the Northern Grid at 2.32 a.m. affected supply to seven northern states, including Delhi. Officials said the failure took place somewhere near Agra, causing the entire system to trip.
Power supply was also hit in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir.

The second consecutive day of power failure in Northern India has hit the entire region with even trains on the Indian Railway network stopping on track. Around 100 trains are believed to be stuck en-route across the region. The situation is no better in eastern states like west Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha. As per reports there is no power in the eastern metropolis, Kolkata, severely affecting metro and tram services. The situation is equally bad in Patna, Ranchi and Bhubaneswar. On Monday, seven states in the northern region saw power trip off at 2.32 am due to a major breakdown in the Northern Grid - an interconnected transmission network that delivers electricity from various power generating stations to distribution utilities. 

The electricity sector in India had an installed capacity of 202.98 Gigawatt (GW) as of May 2012, the world's fifth largest.[1] Captive power plants generate an additional 31.5 GW. Thermal power plants constitute 66% of the installed capacity, hydroelectric about 19% and rest being a combination of wind, small hydro, biomass, waste-to-electricity, and nuclear. India generated 855 BU electricity during 2011-12 fiscal.

Just see the Electricity sector in India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In terms of fuel, coal-fired plants account for 56% of India's installed electricity capacity, compared to South Africa's 92%; China's 77%; and Australia's 76%. After coal, renewal hydropower accounts for 19%, renewable energy for 12% and natural gas for about 9%.[2][3]

In December 2011, over 300 million Indian citizens had no access to electricity. Over one third of India's rural population lacked electricity, as did 6% of the urban population. Of those who did have access to electricity in India, the supply was intermittent and unreliable. In 2010, blackouts and power shedding interrupted irrigation and manufacturing across the country.[4][5]

The per capita average annual domestic electricity consumption in India in 2009 was 96 kWh in rural areas and 288 kWh in urban areas for those with access to electricity, in contrast to the worldwide per capita annual average of 2600 kWh and 6200 kWh in the European Union.[6] India's total domestic, agricultural and industrial per capita energy consumption estimate vary depending on the source. Two sources place it between 400 to 700 kWh in 2008–2009.[7][8] As of January 2012, one report found the per capita total consumption in India to be 778 kWh.[4]

India currently suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity, even though it is the world's fourth largest energy consumer after United States, China and Russia.[9] The International Energy Agency estimates India needs an investment of at least $135 billion to provide universal access of electricity to its population.

The International Energy Agency estimates India will add between 600 GW to 1200 GW of additional new power generation capacity before 2050.[5] This added new capacity is equivalent to the 740 GW of total power generation capacity of European Union (EU-27) in 2005. The technologies and fuel sources India adopts, as it adds this electricity generation capacity, may make significant impact to global resource usage and environmental issues.[10]

India's electricity sector is amongst the world's most active players in renewable energy utilization, especially wind energy.[11] As of December 2011, India had an installed capacity of about 22.4 GW of renewal technologies-based electricity, exceeding the total installed electricity capacity in Austria by all technologies.

India's network losses exceeded 32% in 2010 including non-technical losses, compared to world average of less than 15%. Both technical and non-technical factors contribute to these losses, but quantifying their proportions is difficult. Some experts estimate that technical losses are about 15% to 20%, A high proportion of non‐technical losses are caused by illegal tapping of lines, but faulty electric meters that underestimate actual consumption also contribute to reduced payment collection. A case study in Kerala estimated that replacing faulty meters could reduce distribution losses from 34% to 29%.[5]

Key implementation challenges for India's electricity sector include new project management and execution, ensuring availability of fuel quantities and qualities, lack of initiative to develop large coal and natural gas resources present in India, land acquisition, environmental clearances at state and central government level, and training of skilled manpower to prevent talent shortages for operating latest technology plants.[7]

Even as North India was reeling under massive power failure, Team Anna smelled a conspiracy behind the failure of the northern grid. Sanjay Singh, a key Team Anna member alleged that the central government was behind the power crisis in the country. 

"Government can cut the grid, cut the light, cut the metro services, bus, auto services but people will come out and join the Anna Hazare's movement," Sanjay was quoted as saying. 

Meanwhile, Anna Hazare's fast-unto-death entered day two on Monday at Jantar Mantar to press for a strong Lokpal Bill. The Gandhian had joined his three close aides on fast yesterday inspite of many warning him about his health. 

Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai went on an indefinite fast on July 25. Anna's fast came after his four-day ultimatum to the government to concede to his demands on Lokpal Bill found no response.

"Till we get Jan Lokpal, the countrymen will not allow me to die", Hazare had said addressing his supporters yesterday. 

The grid failure brought the movement of trains passing through Kanpur Central railway station to a standstill. Several trains stopped at the railway station and many others stood on the outer of Kanpur Central. From 2.33 am till 6.05 am that there was no power in the electric wires that provide current to the overhead equipment (OHE). The entire railway station plunged into darkness. 

The power was restored at 6.05 am and the trains could move ahead. But the railway station still remained without power. The railway authorities informed that only the emergency services were restored in the morning. 

The affected trains were 12309 Patna-New Delhi Rajdhani express, Vaishali express, Vikramshila express, Kafiyat express, Magadh express, Toofan express, Swantantra Senani express, Kalka mail, Shramshakti express, New Delhi-Lucknow Swarnshatabdi express and others. 

After restoration of power, the trains were running several hours behind schedule. New Delhi-Lucknow Swarnshatabdi express arrived two hours late at Kanpur Central, Shramshakti express reached Kanpur at around 11 am. The actual timing of arrival is 6.30 am. 

The passengers were seen queuing up at the inquiry counter to know about the actual time of arrival. The electronic display board was also not working in the absence of power. 

The cops of Railway Protection Force (RPF) faced hardships as the CCTV cameras installed at the station were also not working. 

Taking advantage of the situation, thieves took away a bag containing a laptop and jewellery worth thousands belonging to Surendra Kumar travelling in Patna-New Delhi Rajdhani Express. 

The theft took place near Khapra Mohal railway crossing where the train came to a grinding halt.

VARANASI: The northern grid failed after midnight but the city plunged into darkness from 9.40 pm on Sunday. Even the areas around the sensitive Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi remained dark. It exposed the claims of government machinery that the city would be kept free from power rostering on Mondays of Shrawan. 

The power-cut took place on Sunday night when thousands of Kanwariyas and pilgrims had already reached the KVT. 

The supply was restored in the city around 12.45 am but after an hour, the northern grid failed and darkness prevailed again. Thousands of devotees, who had queued up to enter the sanctum sanctorum of KVT immediately after the opening of its doors, were compelled to stand in dark as the lighting arrangements inside the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex covered limited area. 

The grid failure also affected the movement of trains. The electricity department claimed that efforts were made to maintain power supply for ssential services by procuring it from eastern grid in Pusauli in Bihar. Executive engineer (transmission) G P Verma said that supply was maintained intermittently to hospitals, railways, temples, Jal Sansthan, DLW and BHU. 

The grid failure affected seven states, including UP. Rostering was noticed in most of the localities during the day too. The city was divided into three parts to maintain power supply on rotation basis. 

Additional divisional railway manager of Mughalsarai under East Central Railway (ECR) Ramesh Chandra said that five to six passenger trains remained stranded at Mughalsarai railway station. The passenger trains could move after 6.30 am and goods trains by 9.30 am.

Entire north India had plunged into the worst power crisis in a decade yesterday throwing normal life out of gear for several hours in eight states due to collapse of the northern grid.

At around 1:30pm, Delhi had a demand of around 4,000mw out of which only 38 mega watt was being supplied at around 1:45pm.

The power trip had occurred near Agra, the city of the Taj Majal, but officials were unable to say what caused the massive breakdown. 

Today also, the fault is believed to have originated from the same location. 

Last time such a crisis took place was in 2001, when it took 16 hours to restore normalcy. 

2.09pm: It has now been confirmed that 12 states have been affected by the grid collapses. Meanwhile a statement from the power ministry has said that essential services be restored in the next two hours. This would translate to power for hospitals, VVIP areas, trains etc. There is still no word on when power to homes and offices will be restored.

Meanwhile the word on Twitter is that the Kolkata metro is up and running:

#Kolkata metro is running now.

— suparna singh (@soupiesingh) जुलाई 31, 2012

In Delhi, the DMRC has said that all trains have been moved out of tunnels, to nearby stations for evacuation.

2.04pm: As many as 300 trains in North India alone have been affected by the collapse of the Northern and Eastern grids, with many more trains likely to have been impacted in the Eastern states. NDTV reported that train services are halted in Asansol, Sealdah, Howrah divisions in West Bengal after failure of the Eastern grid.

The CPRO Northern Railways, Neeraj Sharma, speaking to CNN-IBN, said they will try to run some trains and make alternative arrangements like diesel power. The Delhi and Kolkata Metros are also not running.

1.55pm: The reason for the grid failures in the North and East have reportedly been caused because frequency has dipped below the optimal level of 48Mhz. However officials have been unable to identify exactly where the fault has occurred., so it will take more time for them to get the grids back up and running. Meanwhile officials have said that Delhi's VVIP areas will receive 100 MW of emergency power.

1.47pm: Rail services have been severely affected once again, with 75 trains affected in Northern railways. Another 125 trains are held up between the Ghaziabad and Mughalsarai divisions.

The Delhi metro is also at a complete standstill. DMRC officials have asked govt if hydel project in Bhutan can be used again today to run essential services.

Meanwhile all govt hospitals have switched to in-house power back-up. A press statement has said that ICUs can be operated comfortably for a few hours at least.

1.43pm: Minister of power and energy Sushil Kumar Shine speaking to CNN-IBN, has said that officials are investigating the reason for the failure of both the Northern and Eastern grids. However he said that it was highly likely that the outages were being caused by states who are overdrawing power from the grid.

Meanwhile officials have said that a reason for todays outage could also be a surge of power frequency from the Western grid. They have also warned that in terms of the Eastern grid, it was unlikely that power could be restored until tonight.

1.35pm: Just when North India thought a nightmarish power crisis was behind them, the Northern and Eastern grids have failed again. This time however, the crisis is even worse with large parts of East India also coming under darkness. The grid collapse reportedly occurred at 1:07pm

The metro trains have stopped moving completely, and the DMRC is reportedly trying to move trains to the nearest station. HT tweeted that an evacuation process was under way.

DMRC trying to take Metros to the nearest station, evacuation process on #ht

— HT Delhi (@htdelhi) जुलाई 31, 2012

There is no power in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan Jammu, Orissa and Kashmir and Haryana. Power outages are also being reported from West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Meanwhile CNN-IBN said that all electric trains are standing still in the three railway zones of Northern Railways, North Western Railways and North Central Railways.

Delhi Jal Board officials said the water treatment plants were put on dedicated feeder lines and as soon as the power supply was restored at the Northern Grid, they were able to resume function at the treatment plants. Water supply to Nangloi and Bawana was restored much later than at the other plants, which led to a water supply problem in the areas on the command of these plants. "Most of the plants were restored by 6.30 a.m. on a priority basis, but there were some areas that could not get morning supply. We supplied water to some areas in the afternoon and evening supply was almost normal," said an official.

Water tankers, the official said had to be despatched to some areas that did not get the usual supply.


None of the hospitals including Guru Tegh Bahadur, Safdarjung or Ram Manohar Lohia faced any power supply problem and out patients departments, emergency services were functional. Some wards in Lady Hardinge Hospital had power failure for a short while but supply was immediately restored.

One of the country's busiest hospitals, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, has it back-up electricity supply. "AIIMS has a back-up supply, which was used at the time of the power cut. None of the patients had any problem and all emergency services were functioning," said AIIMS spokesperson Y.K. Gupta.

VIP areas

Even as the rest of the city was rendered without power, efforts were made to procure power for the VIP areas.

VIP addresses including the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Prime Minister's residence on Race Course Road had to bear the power cut for a much smaller duration than the rest of the city.

At Rashtrapati Bhavan, solar lamps installed inside prevented the Estate from plunging into darkness, emergency lights installed in the residence wing and the guest wing meant for the President too were helpful in mitigating the discomfort brought on by the power cut.

Special arrangements were made to provide power to the Prime Minister's residence within hours of the power cut.

"Power supply was disrupted since 2-30 a.m., but we managed to partially restore it by 5 a.m. in the VIP areas. We got power from the gas turbines of Badarpur and Dadri. By 10-30 a.m. the power supply to the NDMC area was almost normal," said a New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) official.


Though there was no delay in flights caused by the power cut, certain services at the airport itself were somewhat affected. DIAL officials said flight operations were "absolutely normal and there were no cancellations or delays".

"The entire load of the airport was restored within 15-60 seconds. This was made possible by an extensive arrangement of power back-up and multiple redundancies put in place by DIAL. As soon as the power supply showed fluctuations, the 'Main Receiving Sub-Station' (MRSS) at IGIA ensured that the DG sets automatically took the load," said a spokesperson.


Delhi Metro was yet another victim of Monday's power supply breakdown with thousands of passengers inconvenienced as services across all six corridors was disrupted. For more than four-and-a-half hours, power supply was not available at any of the Metro lines and depots thereby not allowing the Metro services to function as per normal schedules.

A team of senior officers was deployed to look into the situation and power was borrowed from Bhutan. "The DMRC received hydel power from Bhutan on priority basis," said a DMRC spokesperson.

A team of seniors officers from Delhi Metro's Electrical wing swung into action at 2-30 a.m. to ensure that power supply is resumed at the earliest. Services began an hour later at 7 a.m. as against the usual 6 a.m. "Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., trains were inducted in a phased manner. Only 25 per cent of trains were put into service," said a DMRC spokesperson, adding regular services were made available from 9 a.m. onwards. Till 8-30 a.m., only six-car trains (a total of 26) were inducted into service to cater to commuters on Line-2.

To manage the crowds at major interchange stations especially on the 'Yellow Line' (HUDA City Centre-Jahangirpuri), nine trains were planned to run empty from Vishwavidyalaya of which six were to begin service at Kashmere Gate and three to begin from Rajiv Chowk hea-ding to HUDA City Centre.


Around 200 trains and lakhs of passengers were affected after the power grid failure disrupted train services across eight divisions of the northern railway early on Monday. Anil Saxena, additional director general, public relations in the Railway Ministry said: "It was a massive power failure which disrupted the railway operations on a big scale. The electrical power failure occurred at 2-32 a.m. We could restore the services only by 7 a.m. At present trains are running late on average by 3-4 hours. "Senior managers in the railways are monitoring the situation along with electrical engineers and are in touch with power suppliers," he added.

Electricity supply was restored by 7 a.m. as additional electricity was obtained from Dadri plant near Delhi and Phapund in Aurai. At present electric supply has been restored but many trains, including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and express trains, are still running hours behind their schedules. According to railway officials it can take up to 48 hours for the services to get normalised. Freight train services too were halted as around 200 goods trains were cancelled in order to accord priority to passenger trains.

The situation is serious in national capital, Delhi, where most areas are facing a blackout with even Metro train service coming to a standstill. As per reports, some trains on the underground section of the city's lifeline are stuck inside tunnels. Many traffic signals have also failed in the city leading to traffic jams. 

The situation is similar in Chandigarh, Lucknow and other cities in the region. The states in North India that are facing outage are Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. 

LUCKNOW: The rude shock of a massive power failure in the intervening night of Sunday and Monday left residents of Lucknow high and dry for nearly eight hours. Power supply was restored in VIP areas like Raj Bhawan and Kalidas Marg as early as 5.30 am, there were reports of some localities like Gosainganj where power could not be restored even till late evening. The power crisis not only crippled the essential services like Railways, but also affected water supply.

Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) officials said that adequate caution was taken by UP Power Transmission Corporation Limited, while restoring the power supply in some of the localities. "This is being done to ensure that no over loading on transmission happens," said an official. No wonder power supply was restored slowly in different parts of the state capital. The over load factor was essentially taken into account in those localities, which are relatively more populated and do not have separation of feeders for a stable power supply.

"This was the worst start to the week," said Rajesh Bhagat, a resident of Aliganj. "The locality has been facing a critical power supply for the past many days. It only aggravated on that particular day," said Naveen Chandra, a resident of Purania. So was the situation in localities like Indiranagar and Alambagh, where power supply could be restored only by noon. However, parts of localities around Kursi Road remained without power till late evening after an 11 KV line tripped. Lesa sources said that the crisis arose following a cable fault that could not be restored timely, even as resentment brew amongst the residents.

The situation was almost similar in the old city area where power supply though got restored by noon. However, some of the localities faced power crisis after a 990 KVA transformer developed a snag in the evening. Lesa officials said that the situation is likely to normalise only late evening.

The power crisis resulted in a severe water crisis as well. Both the water works in the old city and the third water works in the trans-Gomti area remained stalled in the absence of power. Lucknow Jal Sansthan sources said that the water works could not draw and pump water to the over head tanks. Likewise, in most of the localities, the tubewells did not function. As a result, most of tanks could not be filled up. General manager, LJS, Rajiv Bajpai said that the duration of water supply got reduced by at least an hour.

The problem was relatively grave in localities like Alambagh, Nishatganj, Aliganj, Mahanagar and Indiranagar where the reduced pressure of water left little options for the residents. Some of the localities, in fact, did not receive water supply in the morning.

Bajpai said that the sansthan ensured that the water supply becomes normal for the second half of the day. Sources, however, said that the absence of power supply in localities affected by regular power outages aggravated the water crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Website counter


Blog Archive