PM's Call To Turn Off Lights Might Affect Power Grid: Maha Energy Minister Nitin Raut

"If all lights are put off at the same time, it can lead to a potential blackout, which will also affect the emergency services," Raut said.

4 April 2020 11:17 AM GMT
Editor : Shweta Kothari | By : Reethu Ravi
PM

Image Credits: Pixabay, The Kerala Online

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, April 3, appealed to the citizens to switch off lights for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5 and light candles and diyas to fight the darkness brought upon the country by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, if all lights are suddenly switched off, there is a possibility of the power grid being affected, said Maharashtra Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut.

"We should rethink before switching off all the lights at the same time at our homes. This can lead to a grid failure and affect emergency services," NDTV quoted the Minister as saying.

On Friday night, Raut said the lockdown has already created a difference in power generation and supply.

"Putting off the lights together at the same time can lead to a huge difference in demand and supply. Due to the lockdown, the demand has already decreased from 23,000 MW to 13,000 MW as factory units are not operating," he said.

"If all lights are put off at the same time, it can lead to a potential blackout, which will also affect the emergency services. It may take up to 12-16 hours to restore services. In fight against coronavirus pandemic, electricity is an important tool," he added.

The Minister appealed to citizens to light lamps and candles by keeping tube lights on. "This will ensure proper functioning of the grid and uninterrupted power supply," he said.

Opposition Slams PM's Appeal

PM's call to switch off lights was heavily slammed by the Opposition.

"Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people's pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties. No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India's Photo-Op PrimeMinister!" tweeted Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

"Turn out lights & come on balconies? GET REAL MR. MODI! Give India fiscal pkg worth 8-10pc of GDP. Ensure immediate wages to construction & other labour during lockdown- laws exist permitting this. Stop gagging real press in name of curbing fake news," Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra tweeted.

Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram reiterated what people expected from the PM.

"Dear @narendramodi, We will listen to you and light diyas on April 5. But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists," Chidambaram tweeted.

In another tweet, he said that what people expected from the PM was "FAP II including for those categories of poor who were totally ignored by @nsitharaman on 25-3-2020."

"Every working man and woman, from business person to daily wage earner, also expected you to announce steps to arrest the economic slide and re-start the engines of economic growth," he said.

"The people are disappointed on both counts. Symbolism is important, but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important," he added.

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Reethu Ravi

Reethu Ravi

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Usually found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of the universe. But mostly, I tell stories.

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Reethu Ravi

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