Large parts of Mumbai and its suburbs came to an abrupt two hour-halt with a widespread power outage, the first such blackout in more than two years. Apart from causing inconvenience households, local train services across all lines – Western, Central and Harbour – were affected stranding thousands of train passengers and delayed college exams. Commuters were seen walking on rail tracks.
The power cut affected the road traffic as well, with signals stopped functioning due to the cut. Besides which vital hospital systems, students’ exams and court hearings were impacted in Mumbai following a failure of the power supply grid. On the whole, the massive blackout has affected around 50 lakh homes in the middle of peak hours.
What Really Happened..?
According to Maharashtra’s Energy Minister Nitin Raut, the power outage was caused by a technical failure in one of the power supply circuits at the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited’s 400 KV supply station at Kalwa-Padgha near Thane.
The same was confirmed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on its official Twitter account. “The electric supply is interrupted due to TATAs incoming electric supply failure. Inconvenience is regretted,” Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) had tweeted.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered an immediate probe into the large-scale outage which is unprecedented for the country’s financial capital. While Central Railway trains were restored at 10:55 am, Western Railway train services were restored by 12:20 pm.
Dear Mumbaikars,@mybmc is personally & closely monitoring the status at all private & government hospitals, to ensure that their services continue unhindered, even in the dearth of power supply.
— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) October 12, 2020
The Mumbai University deferred exams across exams to Sunday while the city’s civic body asked hospitals to ensure there is enough supply of diesel for at least eight hours to avoid power failures, especially in the ICUs.
However, Mumbai Airport and trading activities continued as usual at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). In no time, social media was splashed with pictures of people stranded inside unlit trains and in railway stations. A wave of memes and trolls flooded social media tagging BEST and BMC.