Prime Minister’s message a video hinting that he has something big on Thursday left everyone in a puzzle which a section of netizen speculated lockdown extension. However, in his address to the nation on Friday morning, the Prime Minister asked citizens to turn the lights off in their homes for 9 minutes on Sunday (5 April) starting at 9 PM. He then urged the citizen to light candles or diyas, or to flash torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes in solidarity to the fight against the COVID-19.
While this seems to be a simple task for households, national electricity grid has raised concerns over the gesture. Reportedly, it would a tedious task for the entity which meets India’s power needs. Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) needs to ramp down electricity supply accordingly during this time block and ramp up again once this 9-minute period is over and the baseload demand returns in full strength.
If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of the grid which might lead to the failure of all our emergency services. According to the officials at POSOCO, it might take a week’s time to restore power. “We are making arrangements. We are preparing for fluctuations of 15GW. The backup will also be ready for demand,” an official said.
With the rising concerns, Power minister R K Singh on Friday reviewed measures to ensure grid stability with officers from the grid operator POSOCO and Powergrid. India’s grid is technologically one of the best in the world and has the advantage of being a ‘one-nation-one-grid’ under a single controller,” he said addressing the media post the emergency meeting.