The Power Ministry noted that street lights or appliances like Computers, TVs, Fans, refrigerators and ACs in the homes are not required to be switched off.
Dispelling doubts about the possible impact on electric appliances due to the call for lights out on April 5, 2020, by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Power Ministry said that adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand. “Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances,” the statement from the ministry said. These apprehensions are “misplaced” as Indian electricity grid is “robust and stable,” it said.
Modi had urged 130 crore Indians on Friday to voluntarily switch off their lights for nine minutes from 9:00 PM till 9:09 PM on Sunday. “Listen carefully, on the 5thof April, at 9 PM, turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in your balconies, and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes,” he said in his brief address to the country, in order to “defeat the deep darkness of the crisis, by spreading the glory of light in all four directions.”
The Power Ministry, however, noted that street lights or appliances like Computers, TVs, Fans, Refrigerators and ACs in the homes are not required to be switched off. Apart from this, lights in “hospitals and all other essential services like public utilities, municipal Services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities, etc will remain on.”
However, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had questioned the need for switching off lights as it could impact the power 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 9.09 pm. One more thing the PM didn’t think about!” Tharoor tweeted. Another Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh echoed his thought. He tweeted, “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 9 pm on the 5th can have a deep impact on the grid and its stability. I sincerely hope this is being properly managed.”