The dense fog led to a snag in a transmission line in Punjab and eventually resulted in a near-total blackout in most parts of northern India on the second day of 2010.
In UP, half a dozen lines — all in the western part of the state — tripped, affecting supplies for three to four hours. Among the worst affected were Meerut, Ghaziabad, Muzaffar Nagar, Saharanpur and Noida. Railway operations near Ghaziabad were also affected.
In Delhi, areas like Shalimar Bagh plunged into darkness in the wee hours of Saturday.
Power Grid Corporation chairman-cum-managing director S.K. Chaturvedi said the northern grid tripped due to a technical snag in transmission lines in Punjab that reduced power supply to zero at many sub-stations.
He said, “The national capital region lines could be saved as we took some precautionary steps like cleaning the transmission lines in advance.”
Experts, however, said on condition of anonymity that Power Grid hired heavy machinery and helicopters for cleaning the line insulators before winter, but the state power boards couldn’t afford the cost.
UP Power Transmission corporation Ltd executive director Ashok Kumar said all lines, barring one, had been repaired and “there is no power crisis due to lines being out of order”.
A spokesperson of the UP Power Corporation Ltd confirmed on Saturday evening that the problem had been resolved.
But Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, which are connected to the northern grid, are still reeling under power shortage.
The Northern Regional Load Dispatch Centre advised the state power authorities to remain alert till the fog subsided.