On the 22nd of March, India observed a 'Janata Curfew'. Initiated and introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he appealed to the citizens to stay indoors and practice social distancing. As a way to express gratitude and appreciation to people working in the essential services, he urged the citizens to step onto their balconies and clap and bang utensils at 5 pm. The idea was welcomed by everyone and the internet was filled with heartwarming videos of everyone coming together in this fight against Coronavirus.
With the situation worsening every single day, the Prime Minister has once again appealed to the citizens to switch off all the lights in their homes at 9 pm for 9 minutes on the 5th of April. He asked the people to light earthen lamps or candles to express solidarity during these trying times of the lockdown.
Power Ministry officials are concerned that the country's power system may trip because of the fluctuation in demand. Even though our country is one of the largest synchronous interconnected grids in the world, there is a possibility that the grid frequency would exceed permissible limits. Switching off all the lights and gadgets before 9 pm could cause unprecedented load reduction and when switched back on at 9:09 pm, a sudden increase in the load may follow.
In just 9 minutes, 10,000-15,000 MW of power demand could drop pan India and then come on all at once after a few minutes. Although, on account of this, grid tripping is highly unlikely to occur, still, operators believe that this can cause a "jerk".
However, Power Minister R K Singh has raised this concern and discussed this issue with the Power Grid Corp of India Ltd and is confident that such a mishap will not arise. He's prepared for managing the grid stability for tomorrow's event.
POSOCO Chairman and Managing Director K.V.S Baba told a popular publishing news agency that, "Preliminary indications are that the country will see at least a 10GW dip in national demand on Sunday around 9 pm. We are in constant touch with all state discoms and regional load despatch centres for proper planning and management of the event. It will be monitored closely."
Since the event was brought to light in advance, another top official at the electricity grid management authority said that this has bought them enough time to take the right measures and ensure that the grids are not affected.
In fact, this is not the first time when people were instructed to switch off all the lights for a while. Remember 'Earth Hours'? It happens annually and usually takes place on the last Saturday evening in the month of March.
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