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City goes without power

THE MP State Electricity Board (MPSEB) resorted to heavy load-shedding on Wednesday in Bhopal (City) Circle as the main supply grid?s frequency dropped below 48.8 hertz ? the minimum level necessary for maintaining regular power supply at proper voltage.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 15:23 IST

THE MP State Electricity Board (MPSEB) resorted to heavy load-shedding on Wednesday in Bhopal (City) Circle as the main supply grid’s frequency dropped below 48.8 hertz – the minimum level necessary for maintaining regular power supply at proper voltage.

As a result, almost whole of Bhopal went without electricity for the better part of the day. During the Rabi season – when additional power has to be supplied for agricultural purposes – Wednesday has been designated as the day when load-shedding would be undertaken in the City in case the main supply grid’s frequency goes below 48.8 hertz, according to a senior MPSEB officer.

Since the grid frequency went below 48.8 hertz on Wednesday, the power supply remained erratic, the officer added. There were power cuts in all localities – including the VIP areas.  Char Imli, Kolar road, Arera Colony, Mata Mandir, New Market, Malviya Nagar, MP Nagar and the entire new Bhopal experienced power cuts. Besides, the entire walled city area also went without regular power supply.

The irregular power supply – that began from the wee hours – continued all day. At times, certain areas experienced load-shedding. On more than a couple of occasions, almost the entire city went without power.

The duration of power cuts, however, remained varied. The duration of power cuts in come cases was two hours. There were several smaller-duration load sheds.

Denizens of the State capital were forced to spend an uncomfortable day because of the irregular power supply. Even the inverters - installed in several houses in the City – failed to provide respite to residents and many went kaput by the evening, as there was hardly any regular power supply for the inverter batteries to be recharged.

“If we do not cut power supply when the main grid’s frequency is below the required level, there is possibility of a major grid failure across several states as was experienced last year,’’ Bhopal (City) Circle Superintending Engineer MK Gupta told the Hindustan Times. The frequency of main grid could go down mainly due to the gap between the demand and power generation, he added.

“Maintaining a balance between the demand and the supply was crucial to protect the system,’’ Gupta emphasised. On other days of the week, the same problem would be experienced in the respective areas across the State designated for load-shedding on those days, he stated. Gupta added the problem was likely to continue till midnight if the grid’s frequency did not recover.

He maintained that the main grid’s frequency level was not in the electricity board’s hands and all the MPSEB could do was to ensure proper balance between power generation and demand in order to protect the system.