Trippings Bring North India To A Standstill

New Delhi, Decemebr 23: | Updated: Dec 24 2002, 05:30am hrs
Tripping of two 440 kv transmission lines early Monday morning resulted in a major power failure in the northern region including Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. Most parts of Delhi and adjoining areas went without power for about six hours.

A number of trains in northern India, especially Punjab and Haryana, were stranded at various points and almost all incoming trains to Delhi were running 90 to 120 minutes behind schedule following the power breakdown. This exposes the pitfalls of over dependence on electricity for railway operations.

First, the Hisar-Dadri 440 kv transmission line tripped at 0340 hours, then Hissar-Bawana transmission line. This caused problems in transmission of electricity from Badarpur thermal and Indraprastha gas power plants, sources in National Thermal Power Corp said.

While Hisar-Dadri and Dadri-Mandola lines were restored, subsequent tripping of the 220 kv Badarpur-Ballabgarh line at around 0845 hours caused some problems.

The transmission line failure has been rectified and electricity supply has been restored to most parts of Delhi. Delhi is currently drawing 1500 mw of power as against the requirement of 1800 mw, power grid chairman and managing director RP Singh said.

Describing the power failure as a minor aberration, he said the effect of tripping transmission line would have been minimal had there not been some problem at the Badarpur thermal power plant near Delhi.

As many as 12 express and mail trains and 20 freight trains were stranded at various places between Delhi-Saharanpur and Panipat-Ambala sections since early Monday morning.

The Railways usually calls on diesel locomotives in case of such breakdowns. As per rules, 10 per cent of total locomotives in an electrified territory should be diesel. We did not need to call on diesel locomotives this time but normally in such circumstances locomotives of freight trains are pressed into service for hauling passenger trains, said an official.

When the problem began in Haryana we used our own transmission lines for extending supplies up to Ambala. At about 8.15 am, there was some problem in Delhi, so we extended supply from Haryana to Delhi, said the official.