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Blackout: 20 States In Power Crisis As 3 Grids Collapse

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Triggering a major power crisis, three electricity grids connecting more than 20 states and the national capital collapsed on 31 July.

While the northern grid failed for the second straight day, the eastern and north-eastern grids too collapsed. These three grids carry about 50,000 MW of electricity.

The collapse has left more than half of the country powerless. Essential services and public transport systems, including Railways and the Delhi Metro were also hit.

"Grid incident occurred at 1300 hrs affecting the northern grid, eastern grid and north-eastern grid -- System Under Restoration," National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC), under the Power Ministry, said in an update.

About 22 states and union territories have been impacted by the failure of the three grids.

The northern grid covers nine regions -- Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh.

At least six states are covered by the eastern grid. They are West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Sikkim.

Meanwhile, the north eastern grid connects Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

India has five electricity grids -- Northern, Eastern, North Eastern, Southern and Western. All of them are inter- connected, except the Southern grid.

All the grids are being run by the state-owned Power Grid Corporation, which operates more than 95,000 circuit km of transmission lines.

One circuit km refers to one kilometre of electrical transmission line.

Centre Blame States For Overdrawing From Power Grids
Blaming overdrawal of power by certain states for the current crisis, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on 31 July said the government is working to bring back normalcy in about one hour.

"We are trying to restore the situation back to normalcy in one hour or so. We are trying our level best to restore it," Shinde told reporters here as the country faced one of its worst power crisis for the second straight day.

It is probably for first time three grids are collapsing simultaneously.

Northern Grid failed for the second consecutive day today while Eastern and North Eastern Grids also collapsed this morning, leaving more than half of the country power less.

Power Secretary P Uma Shankar told PTI that all essential loads have been brought back, some of them have been restored.

"We are working on that. In an hour, it (situation) would be restored," he said.

Asked about the reasons for the failure of grids, Shinde said some states are drawing electricity over and above their limits. "This was creating problems," he added.

"This morning only, I was told (by officials) that about 3,000 MW extra power has been over drawn from the Eastern Grid. We have given the direction to either stop it (over drawal) or take action against them," the minister said.