Power supply has been restored to several areas in Mumbai, Maharashtra’s energy minister Nitin Raut said on Monday after a grid failure caused a widespread outage in the state capital and its suburbs affecting train services, delaying exams and causing traffic jams.
“Power supply to all essential services in Mumbai,Mumbai Suburbs, Kalyan, Thane,Palghar & New Mumbai have been restored. Non essential services will also be restored shortly,” Raut tweeted. He had said earlier in the day that the failure was caused by “technical problems” during maintenance work.
Raut had said in a video message and tweets earlier in the day that the problem was being addressed on a “war- level”, and added that it will be restored in approximately an hour. “Once the power is restored, a probe will be carried out into reasons which led to the technical snag,” he had tweeted.
The minister said the trouble emanated from Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (MSETCL) facilities during a planned maintenance work. Tata Power, which is into both generation and distribution, attributed the power outage to a simultaneous substation tripping at 10:10am at state-run transmission company MSETCL’s two substations in the suburbs of Kalwa and Kharghar.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an urgent meeting to take stock of the situation, which will be attended by Raut and senior government officials. Thackeray has ordered an immediate probe the Mumbai power outrage, an official statement said.
Commuters, hospitals hit
Trains resumed operations, beginning with the Central Railway’s (CR’s) Harbour Line. Railway services across the city on the Western Railway and Central Railway lines came to a halt at around 10am as a result of the power outage, with both the networks blaming power cut from their power supplier Tata Power for it.
“Trains between CSMT-Panvel on Harbour Line have resumed. We’re trying to restore services between CSMT-Kalyan, CSMT-Karjat/Kasara. Long-distance trains from Mumbai rescheduled, and incoming trains regulated at interchange points, Chief public relations officer (CPRO),” the Central Railway tweeted.
Commuters faced a hard time travelling by road in Mumbai, home to about 20 million people, on Monday as the 700 traffic signals across the city stopped functioning after the power outage. Mumbai traffic police said the signals and CCTV cameras stopped working and made manning traffic difficult. The control room officers stated that although there were no traffic jams reported, vehicles moved at a snail’s pace, especially on the Western Expressway 8am onwards.
Health services, especially in civic-run hospitals, were also affected as a result of the power outage across the city with most of them cancelling minor surgeries.
Several colleges affiliated with the University of Mumbai (MU) had to reschedule their examinations due to the power outage. Exams had to be called off after they had begun while in others, colleges postponed exams scheduled to take place at 11am or later.
“We had originally decided to reschedule exams to 4pm, but with no clarity on the status of electricity, our cluster head has informed all colleges to reschedule the exam to another day. We’ve already started informing all our students,” Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrews College in Bandra, said.
Reports said several employees in an upscale business complex were stuck in an elevator as power snapped. After a few difficult minutes, the employees were safely evacuated, as per a video doing rounds on social media.
BSE and NSE, the benchmark stock exchanges, also reported power outages but added that their operations were continuing normally.
By Hindustan Times