Japanese firm to probe into blackout

After receiving flak for the worst power failure in 20 years, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has roped in a Japanese firm to investigate into the matter and to suggest remedial measures.

On Sunday, the island city did not have power after a fire damaged Tata Power’s supply cables at BEST’s substation at Backbay Reclamation. Power was completely restored by Monday evening to all affected areas, said BEST deputy general manager (power) Atul Patil.

A team of experts from Japanese company M/s. Nissin Electric will now assess the damages to the specialised gas insulated circuit breakers and suggest necessary remedial actions, later this month.

Tata Power is reported to have forced BEST to hire the firm because the undertaking had blamed the power supplier for Sunday’s prolonged outages.

 Under fire from all quarters, an embarrassed BEST blamed the blackout on Tata and to substantiate its claims, emailed pictures of Tata’s burnt cables to various media houses on Sunday.

On Monday, an upset Tata Power turned the heat on BEST “We lodged a protest with BEST and asked it to clarify its stand,” said a senior Tata official.

On Monday, BEST changed its stance. “It is difficult to pinpoint to the culprit. The matter needs to be investigated,” Patil said. 

 “BEST and Tata Power will jointly investigate this incident to ascertain the cause of the fire and undertake steps to avoid such recurrences in future,” said a statement jointly issues by the two companies.

Tata was dragged into the controversy because it supplies 800-900 MW of power to BEST, which in turn retails it to 10 lakh consumers in the island city.


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