NAGPUR: Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Saturday directed the state power companies to ensure that health and emergency services remain unaffected on Sunday night when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed people to switch off lights at home for a few minutes.
The minister had expressed apprehension on Friday that switching off house lights simultaneously could lead to a multi-state grid collapse and blackout in the entire country.
He asked officials of power utilities on Saturday to take necessary steps so that power supply to health services, street lights and emergency services is not affected, Raut said at a press conference here.
He had also directed the Maharashtra energy secretary to arrange supply of 2500 MW of power from Koyna Hydropower Station in case of an outage, he said.
The prime minister on Friday urged people to switch off lights at home and light lamps, candles or switch on mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat coronavirus.
Reiterating his fear, Raut, a Congress leader, alleged that the prime minister was making an event out of the pandemic.
Modi should have taken chief ministers, state energy ministers and the Union power ministry in confidence, he said.
Raut cited a letter of Uttar Pradesh State Load Dispatch Centre which pointed out that if lights are switched off, approximately 3000 MW "sharp load reduction phenomenon" may occur.
The minister also referred to a letter from the Maharashtra State Load Dispatch Centre which stated that the system demand may drop and there may be a rise in system voltage.