The union power ministry has said that apprehensions about grid failure due to switching off the lights for 9 minutes on 5 April are misplaced. Regarding the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to switch off lights in residences for 9 minutes on 5th April, several people had feared that this will cause instability in grid and voltage fluctuation, which may harm electrical appliances, but such apprehensions are misplaced, the ministry has said.
The power ministry has also informed that the National Load Despatch Centre has worked out the procedure for grid balancing during the period. A statement issued by the union power minister says that the grid balancing procedures will be communicated to the regional and state load despatch centres separately.
The statement comes after section of media and opposition parties alleging that switching lights for 9 minutes will cause a collapse of the grid which will take days to recover. It was alleged that the electricity grid will fail due to sudden drop in power demand.
Perhaps addressing such concerns, the power ministry has clarified that the prime minister has asked to voluntarily switch off only lights at 9 PM on Sunday. The statement informs that there is no call to switch off streetlights and electric appliances like TV, Refrigerators, ACs etc at homes. The power ministry assures that adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand. “People should be assured not to worry and continue running all the appliances as usual”, the statement says.
Power ministry has also asked the local bodies keep the streetlights on to avoid any law and order problems during the light-off campaign. They also informed that lights in hospitals and other essential services will remain on.
Addressing the nation through a video message on Friday, prime minister Modi had urged people to switch off all the lights of the house and stand in the balcony after lighting a lamp, switching on the flashlight of their mobile phone or holding a torch for 9 minutes on 5th April (Sunday) at 9 PM. He has appealed for this to come together to show their grit and collective strength in the war against Wuhan Coronavirus. Prime Minister Modi had said that this collective expression of purpose and togetherness would help the nation get through this time of crisis.
The usual suspects didn’t delay to mock the PM for this call, asking how this will help in treating Covid-19. Soon they started spreading fear that switching off lights for 9 minutes will lead to crash of the grid. Although many people had already pointed out on social media that as only lights in residences are called to be switched off, the it will not cause much drop in demand as other appliances will be running and lights in public places will also be running. Many people had also argued that most lights are switched off before people go to sleep in the night, and during the earth hour also lights are switched off, and as grid does not fail in those occasions, there is no reason why it will fail on Sunday.