Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the countrymen to switch off lights for 9 minutes at 9 pm on Sunday and light a diya, candle or mobile phone torches to display the country's collective resolve to defeat coronavirus.
Senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor have said that switching off the lights simultaneously for nine minutes could impact the power grid, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the countrymen to switch off lights for 9 minutes at 9 pm on Sunday and light a diya, candle or mobile phone torches to display the country’s collective resolve to defeat coronavirus.
“As somebody who has been associated with the power sector for almost three decades including as minister, the call to go dark for 9 min at 9pm on the 5th can have a deep impact on the grid and its stability. I sincerely hope this is being properly managed,” Ramesh tweeted.
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Echoing a similar view, Tharoor said that the exercise could crash the grid.
“An unprecedented drop in electricity demand at 9 pm Sunday and an immediate surge at 9.09 pm could cause the electrical grid to crash. So Electricity Boards are contemplating load shedding from 8 pm & staggered return to normal after 9.09pm. One more thing the PM didn’t think about!” he tweeted.
Ramesh flagged concerns while referring to Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut’s fear that switching off the lights simultaneously could lead to a multi-state grid collapse and result in blackout in the entire country.
Raut, also a Congress leader, has appealed to the people to take precautions and keep the necessary lights on at home while igniting lamps and candles on Sunday.
“Switching off the electricity at one time can reduce the electricity demand. If all lights are switched off at one time for nine minutes there is possibility of a grid collapse resulting in blackout in the entire country,” he said.
He argued that there is a change in the demand and supply situation due to the lockdown. “If there is a sudden drop or increase in the demand or supply in the grid, there could be disturbance in the grid frequency,” Raut added.
Earlier on March 22, the day the country observed the janata curfew, PM Modi had urged the countrymen to come out on the balconies and clap, beat thalis, blow conches to thank the doctors and health workers who are relentlessly fighting the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Minister said that country gas reported over 2,300 positive Covid19 cases and 68 deaths.