April 12, 2020

Risks of a Nationwide Blackout

CPI(M) Polit Bureau has issued  the following statement on April 04, 2020

THE prime minister’s call to switch off lights for nine minutes on Sunday  night to ‘fight’  Covid-19 poses a real threat to the country’s  electrical system – the national grid. What could happen to the grid  with the simultaneous switching off and on of all household lighting  load, roughly 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the grid’s power? The grid could turn unstable and collapse. We could then have a cascading blackout, like it happened over most of India in July 2012. Bringing the grid operations back to normal can take at least 2-3 days. Imagine the  consequences for our hospitals, the doctors, health workers and patients in our crucial battle against Covid-19. Imagine  what would happen to all of us in the dark, locked up in our houses.

The national and state grid authorities have already warned the central and state governments of the danger to the grid. The PM should  immediately withdraw this call of a self-imposed blackout of the nation.

If the grid trips, the country will have to face the consequences of no electricity, and no ability to fight the epidemic till power is restored. This is a risk that the county, reeling under the current lockdown and the Covid-19 epidemic, cannot, and must not, take.