Darkness at midnight as power demand peaks in Mumbai

Oct 17, 2015, 17:30 IST | Shashank Rao

Three transmission lines of Kalwa-Salsette of Tata Power tripped on Friday, leading to a blackout in several parts of Mumbai

October heat is certainly taking a toll on Mumbaikars as well as its power supply. The city has seen three blackouts until now in this month. This is happening at a time when usage of air-conditioners has become common.

The Tata Power receiving centre in Dharavi. PIC/RANE ASHISH
The Tata Power receiving centre in Dharavi. Pic/Rane Ashish

On Friday, around 12.10 am, there was a massive power outage at the 220 kV Kalwa-Salsette receiving line. This led to a complete blackout in areas like Parel, Dadar, Matunga, Sion, Chunabhatti, Antop Hill, Prateeksha Nagar, Dharavi, Mahim, Bandra, Kalanagar, Kalina and Santacruz. The problem was resolved at different times at different locations.

For instance, in the island city, electricity was restored at 12.50 am while in the suburbs it was restored by 12.20 am. Officials from BEST said that even the streetlights had shut off as the entire transmission line got affected. “There was no problem with our distribution network but then 25 transformers were shut down,” said a BEST official.

BEST officials whose receiving station tripped, blamed Tata Power for this collapse. As per the normal process, the electricity supplied through transmission lines goes to these receiving stations from where it is further distributed. The State Load Dispatch Centre said that three different lines of Kalwa-Salsette had tripped at 12.10 am. In fact, one of the lines had tripped again at 5.50 am and was restored at 6.38 am.

These lines lead to the Dharavi substation from where power is distributed to the rest of the city and suburbs. With the main transmission system down, even the suburbs were partially in the dark. Officials from Reliance Infrastructure said that they made technical changes to their system to prevent more problems, within a few minutes. Power experts are blaming the rising temperatures behind these frequent power outages.

“The electricity demand has touched 3,380 MW which is the highest over the last few days. This temperature places a burden on the supply system,” said Ashok Pendse, power expert. The power supply is around 2,200 MW while the rest is bought from other states at a rate of around R4 per unit.

A Tata Power spokesperson
Today (on Friday), at 12:10 am there was a fault on the 220 kV bus at Salsette Receiving Station due to tripping of 220 kV Kalwa Salsette 4 line. This resulted in tripping of associated lines at Salsette Receiving Station. Subsequently there was load relief at Dharavi Receiving Station due to operation of overload trimming scheme. All lines feeding Salsette Receiving Station were restored by 12.41am. The power supply to affected consumers fed from Dharavi Receiving Stations was restored progressively by 12.50 am

A Reliance Infrastructure spokesperson
Due to a technical snag in Tata Power's system, power supply to Reliance consumers in parts of Bandra, Kalina and Santacruz was affected at midnight. We promptly responded to the situation by restoring the supply through the distribution network within the possible time

A BEST spokesperson
There was off-supply in north Mumbai of BEST from 12.10 am to 12.45 am due to a failure at Salsette-Kalwa. This resulted in tripping of this line till Dharavi. Our transformers were affected due to this

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