Mumbaikars were in for a rude shock on Monday, October 12, 2020, as the city and its suburbs and a few neighboring districts faced a power cut due to grid failure at around 10 am local time. Power eventually returned in phases across the city after 12.15 pm.
Multiple operators, including the state-run Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST), Adani Electricity, and Tata Power, supply power to the city. BEST in a tweet claimed that the electric supply interruption was due to TATAs incoming electric supply failure.
Tata Power tweeted, “There is an upstreaming problem in the state grid because of which the Mumbai supply is affected. Inconvenience is regretted.”
Along with Mumbai and its suburbs, the power outage was reported in parts of Thane District, Navi Mumbai, along with Kharghar and Panvel.
Maharashtra’s power minister Nitin Raut in a tweet said, “Mumbai-Thane-Kalyan power failure is being attended to. Kalwa-Padgha transmissions line got tripped; hence Thane- Palghar, New Mumbai power is off. Consequently cascading the power failure to Mumbai-Thane & Mumbai suburban city. It will be restored in approximately an hour.”
Eventually, around 12.15 pm, power gradually returned to parts of Mumbai and its suburbs.
Unlike other major metropolitan cities of India, Mumbai rarely faces a power cut or a grid failure of such magnitude. The unprecedented power failure brought the city’s lifeline- the Mumbai local trains- to a grinding halt.
Both the Western Railways and the Central Railways suspended operations in light of the power outage. Several commuters who take the local train were left stranded at the railway stations while others had to walk from local trains to nearby railway stations on the tracks.
Traffic signals failed, while hospitals had to resort to backup generators to ensure that the ventilators and ICUs ran smoothly. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) listed several landline numbers for Mumbaikars to call in emergency cases.
Although the power failure did affect the commercial capital, according to the PTI, the BSE and the National Stock Exchange were functioning normally.
India is one of the fastest-growing economies globally with its increasing power demand in the coming years. Historically, the country has also been a power deficit with millions of people without access to the grid. While power generation is catching up with the growth in solar and wind, a robust transmission infrastructure has always been a challenge leading to grid congestion and curtailment, Mercom India Research has reiterated over the years.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.