Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo Credit: File Image)
With an aim to bring the entire nation together in fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed for more than 77 lives (according to the latest updates from the health ministry), Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the countrymen to turn off lights for 9 minutes on Sunday and lit diya, candle or mobile flash light. PM Modi, who addressed the nation on Thursday, made an appeal to every Indian: "On April 5, Sunday, at 9 pm, I want 9 minutes from all of you. Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or balconies and light candles, diya (lamp) or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes." "No one is alone during the lockdown, the collective superpower of 130 crore Indians is with every citizen," he added.
à¤†à¤“ à¤¦à¥€à¤¯à¤¾ à¤œà¤²à¤¾à¤Âà¤‚à¥¤ pic.twitter.com/6sc5bplbVy— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 4, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a nine-minute blackout at 9 pm on April 5 raised concerns for power grid managers as they are gearing up for ensuring grid stability during the period. State-run Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), which is responsible for integrated operation of the grid, is working towards ensuring there is no pressure on the grid due to the possible grid collapse and resultant blackout throughout the country. The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERA) necessitates permissible range of the frequency band of 49.95-50.05 Hz for normal running of grid and if there is any discrepancy in the same with sudden increase or decrease in power flow, it might result into grid collapse.
"The entire power sector is currently under stress. The demand has already fallen significantly due to the ongoing lockdown. There could be some stress due to this blackout of few minutes, but since we know the time, we can plan for it well in advance," a government official said on condition of anonymity.
However, Power Minister R K Singh said there is no threat to the stability of India's electricity grid from Sunday’s 9-minute public blackout and "light-a-diya" call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"There is absolutely no threat. A robust protocol has been laid down to maintain grid frequency through the lights-out period. The national grid operator and national despatch centre will co-ordinate with regional and state load despatchers to ensure grid stability," Singh told The Times of India on Saturday.