After a widespread power outage in and around Mumbai for over an hour, supply was gradually restored in a few areas, including Kharghar in Navi Mumbai, Churchgate in South Mumbai and Mumbra in Thane on Monday afternoon. Train services were also fully restored on both Central and Western Railway.
Efforts are underway to resume supply in other affected locations.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called for an immediate probe into the technical fault that led to the outage. “Thackeray discussed the power outage with Minister for Energy Nitin Raut and directed that immediate efforts be made to restore power supply,” a statement from his office read.
Business and daily life in the financial capital came to a grinding halt this morning after a failure in the central grid of TATA Power at Kalwa hit Adani and BEST electricity distribution services in the city. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had said that it would take “45 min to 1 hour to restore the supply”.
While trains were stopped between CSMT and Diva along the Central Railway line, services were also halted between Churchgate and Vasai on Western Railway.
“However, power supply from MSETCL is available at Vasai Road and it has been extended to work essential suburban trains between Borivali and Virar section,” Western Railway had said in a statement.
Juhu, Andheri, Mira Road, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Panvel were among the areas that were largely affected. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport [BEST] spokesperson confirmed: “Due to grid failure, the supply of power in the city is disrupted.” “The electric supply is interrupted due to TATAs incoming electric supply failure. Inconveniences is regretted,” BEST posted on Twitter.
Adani Electricity later tweeted: “There is a major power grid failure due to which supply is affected in most areas of Mumbai. As per grid safety protocols, Adani Power System has been able to sustain and islanded. Our teams are working to restore the supply in the affected areas at the earliest. We regret the inconvenience caused.”
A statement from Tata Power later said: “At 10.10 am, there were simultaneous substation tripping in MSETCL’s Kalwa, Kharghar, causing a huge dip in frequency in the Mumbai transmission system which led to tripping of the Mumbai power supply. Restoration work in is in progress to bring supply from the three Hydro units and Trombay units once the MSETCL transmission lines are connected. Inconvenience is regretted.”
In hospitals, while no disruptions were reported so far, authorities immediately began a battery-back up for ventilators and ICUs. They were directed to ensure back-up for four hours. “We have 1,000 litres of diesel in surplus and a generator that will last for 12 hours. We started the generator the minute the electricity supply was cut. We are arranging for additional supply if needed. No patient was inconvenienced,” Dr Rajesh Dere, Dean of BKC jumbo covid facility, said.
Authorities also cautioned citizens against a reduced water supply. “There will be reduced water supply or no supply. So a request to use water judiciously,” a statement by a BMC corporator read.
Sources said BEST takes supply from Tata Power whose major transformer in Kalwa and Pardha has suffered multiple tripping and failed. Tata also supplies power to Adani which then distributes outside city limits, while BEST provides power in the island city. The Kalwa transformer is the main supply line that provides 350MW to Mumbai.
The state’s Common Entrance Test [CET] exam, which began today, was held using power generators. The first shift of the exam was from 9.30 am-12.30 pm. “Due to the power backups, we have been able to continue the exam,” an official from the state CET cell said. The next shift will begin at 2.30 pm.
The final year exams of most colleges, however, were affected. In a notice to students, KC college principal Hemlata Bagla said: “All UG and PG examinations are being rescheduled to Sunday, 18th October, 2020. The timings will remain the same.”
The effect of the power outage was also felt at the Bombay High Court where videoconferencing proceedings were halted till resumption of services, the registrar said.
Operations at the airport remained unaffected. “The airport has backup plans that immediately get activated within seconds in the event of any power issues. Thanks to this, operations at the airport are normal,” a spokesperson from Mumbai International Airport Limited said.
A sharp drop in the grid frequency has been reported after multiple tripping of lines and transformers in the Kalwa-Khargar sections of the western grid, leading to a complete power outage in Mumbai.
The event, at just past 10am, resulted in a 2000MW deficit in the Mumbai region, forcing the grid managers to isolate the city from the western grid. The power supplies to the rest of the western region are reported to be happening normally. The islanding scheme that automatically isolates a specific region after a fault, according to sources, did not work as intended. An official said restoration is under process and will take a couple of hours.
Both the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange said there is no stoppage in trading despite power failure. Adani Electricity tweeted to inform that AEML is supplying around 385MW to critical services through Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) Dahanu. “Our teams are working to restore the supply in the affected areas at the earliest. We regret the inconvenience caused,” it said in a tweet.