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What?s behind LESA?s frequent trips?

IS LESA telling a lie, or is it technical ignorance on the part of those managing power transmission lines? Whatever the reason, at least the under- frequency of the grid is certainly not responsible for frequent power tripping in the trans-Gomti. The preliminary investigations into the matter have established this fact though the real cause is yet to be found out.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 01:08 IST

IS LESA telling a lie, or is it technical ignorance on the part of those managing power transmission lines? Whatever the reason, at least the under- frequency of the grid is certainly not responsible for frequent power tripping in the trans-Gomti. The preliminary investigations into the matter have established this fact though the real cause is yet to be found out.

Call up a sub-station during power outage and you will be told that the power has tripped due to under frequency of the grid. “Supply ooper sei fail hai” or “main supply fail hai” (both mean power supply is not available from the primary source) are readymade answers which the sub-station staff or even the senior LESA officers will offer when one enquires why there is no electricity.

The localities like Indiranagar, Mahanagar, Aliganj, Vikasnagar, and parts of Gomti Nagar besides many other localities in trans-Gomti have been reeling under acute power cuts for last several weeks.

Curiously, the supply always fails in the morning and that too between 9 am and 11 am. Hardly a day passes when people do not go without electricity for around one and a half hour in the morning causing a lot of inconvenience to the residents. And when they enquire, they get the same answer, “the supply has failed due to under frequency.” “See, we have devices fitted on feeders, which automatically cases tripping of electricity as soon as the grid frequency come below 48.4 hertz to save the entire grid from collapse,” LESA officers tell one technically trying to convince one that they have no control over the power outage.

Significantly, however, the grid frequency chart of last 10 days secured from the Shakti Bhwan’s System Control unit shows that the frequency was never below 48.4 hertz (the critical mark when power lines are supposed to automatically trip) during morning hours!

In fact, following a complaint by the UP Rajya Vidyuykt Upbhokta Parishad , UPPCL MD, Avnish Awasthi had asked Director (Distribution), Arun to investigate if the causes of power tripping in Indira Nagar was under-frequency alone or something else. Parishad president, Awadhesh Kumar Verma had in his complaint said that not under frequency but poor management of the system was responsible for people’s morning hour power woes in the trans-Gomti.

According to sources, the preliminary investigations by the Director (Distribution) has revealed that under frequency is not the cause as the grid frequency has been normal in the morning of most of the days. The frequency charts procured by this correspondent also establish the same fact.

Then what is the real cause? Though the exact reason will be known only after the inquiry is over, prima facie, it appears that the auto-cuts installed on the lines have not been properly set. They allow the lines to trip well before the grid frequency reaches 48.4 hertz, which said to be under- frequency.

Mind it only a three minute power tripping in Saifai during the Mahaotsav there had rung alarm bells in the corridor of ‘power’. The responsible officers were taken to task and they were told in writing to increase the instantaneous relay setting to the most optimal level so that the Saifai feeder did not trip.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 01:08 IST