NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday clarified that there is no need to be concerned about voltage fluctuation tomorrow when people switch off the lights at 9pm following PM Modi’s blackout appeal.
In a video message on Friday, the Prime Minister had urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9pm on Sunday to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat the coronavirus.
Following the message, concerns were raised that the voluntary blackout activity may lead to grid and voltage fluctuation which could harm electrical appliances.
However, the ministry of power dismissed the apprehensions, saying the activity will not result in any harm to home appliances.
“The PM has appealed to voluntarily switch off lights between 9pm to 9.09pm on April 5. Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in grid&voltage fluctuation which may harm electrical appliances. These apprehensions are misplaced,” the ministry of power said.
It added there is no need to switch off street lights or appliances at home.
“Only lights should be switched off. The lights in hospitals and other essential services will remain on. Local bodies have been advised to keep street lights on for public safety,” it said.
Earlier, an official on the condition of anonymity said that power demand may fall by 10 GW to 12 GW during the blackout, which will have no bearing on stability of the national power grid.
The official further said this is not the first time the country is going for a blackout, as earlier too such exercises have been conducted for initiatives like ‘Earth Hour’.
Meanwhile, opposition parties have criticised the blackout call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A state minister has also requested people not to switch off lights at 9 pm on Sunday.
The country had gone through a grid failure in 2012 due to technical reasons. However, India presently has a strong transmission network which is capable of handling fluctuations in power demand.