Mumbai blackout: All you should know about worst power failure in decades

Mumbai suffers worst blackout in decades

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Passengers wait at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus as local train services are disrupted due to power outage, in Mumbai on Monday

Power supply was restored in most parts of Mumbai after it suffered a power failure at around 10 am on Monday. Train services came to a halt, homes and businesses were without electricity and people sweltered in humid heat as a grid failure resulted in massive power outages across Mumbai Monday morning.           

The reason behind

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A medical store owner uses a mobile torch due to the power outage, in Mumbai

Electric supply in Mumbai was interrupted due to Tata's incoming electric supply failure, confirmed Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport.  Tata Power, which is into both generation and distribution, attributed the outage to a simultaneous substation tripping at 1010 hrs at state-run transmission company MSETCL's two substations in the suburbs of Kalwa and Kharghar.   Maintenance work was on in MSETCL's 400 kv Kalwa-Padgha line when the technical fault happened in circuit number 2, which was taking the entire load at the time as circuit 1 was shut.      


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Commuters waiting at Mulund Station as train services are disrupted due to power outage after a grid failure

Railway services across city on the Western Railway and Central Railway came to a grinding halt at 10 am as a result of the power outage, with both the networks blaming power cut from Tata Power (their power supplier) for it.  In some instances, the snapping of power came at the most unfortunate moment, which resulted in incidents like employees in an upscale business complex getting stuck in the elevator in the times of social distancing. After a few difficult minutes, the employees were safely evacuated, as per a video doing rounds on social media. With many patients recovering in hospitals including specially-created facilities rendering services like oxygen supply became difficult.    

Restoration work

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A woman cooks food in candle light following a massive power outage across the city

As the day progressed, power restorations efforts began on war footing. Power supply was restored to essential services such as trains and hospitals by about 2 p.m., according to local authorities. Power at many pockets including the Bandra Kurla Complex business district, Lower Parel and South Mumbai started resuming. Restoration work in is in progress to bring supply from the three hydro units and Trombay units once the MSETCL transmission lines are connected, the Tata Power statement said. Another official also said that it is a grid failure, and efforts are underway to restore power supply at the earliest with the help of Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company and Power Grid Corporation.    

Work from home got affected

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With work-from-home (WFH) becoming the norm across vital industries like banking, finance and information technology, employee output was also impacted as the residences do not have electricity backup in a city which generally has stable power.

Why it took longer to resume supply?

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Commuters wait at a petrol pump due to a power outage

An industry source said it took longer than expected for the power supply to resume because one of the two thermal power stations in the city and its vicinity, which have to act as a ready source as part of an islanding system to avert such situations, took longer to start generating power.

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