Allaying the fears of many regarding the adverse impact of the Prime Minister's blackout appeal on the electricity grid, the Centre said "there is no call to switch off TVs, refrigerators and ACs in homes."
The Ministry of Power released a statement on Saturday to shut down fears of a grid imbalance during the critical period the country is facing, saying PM Modi appealed to the people to voluntarily switch off "only lights at 9:00 PM on 5th April, 2020."
Appeal of the Hon’ble PM is to simply switch off the lights in homes from 9 pm to 9.09 pm on the 5th of April. There is no call to switch off either street lights or appliances like Computers, TVs, Fans, Refrigerators and ACs in the homes. #IndiaFightsCorona— Ministry of Power (@MinOfPower) April 4, 2020
Lights in hospitals and all other essential services like Public Utilities, Municipal Services, Offices, Police Stations, Manufacturing Facilities etc will remain on and the Centre specifically mentioned that there is no call to switch off streetlights either.
The secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Power, Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, clarified in a statement, "The National Load Despatch Centre has worked out the procedures for grid balancing during the period which they will be communicating to the Regional and State Load Despatch Centres separately."
The public was assured to not worry as adequate arrangements are in place to handle the variation in demand, and they can continue to run all appliances as usual.
#PIBFactCheck : No need to worry, adequate protocols/arrangements are in place to handle the variation in demand when people switch off their lights for #9Baje9Minutes tomorrow ie Sunday on the PM's appeal to show solidarity over #Covid_19india #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/1VlJJChfcp— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) April 4, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday had urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the coronavirus.
Upon which, many were concerned that the blackout may have an impact on the electricity grid due to the sudden drop in peak power demand, which was already down 25 per cent at 125.81 GW on April 2nd as opposed to a year ago.
The Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut had said in a video message on Friday, "If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of grid. All our emergency services will fail and it might take a week's time to restore power. Would appeal to the public to light candles and lamps without switching off lights."
The Opposition has been targetting Centre over "mishandling" the COVID-19 crisis and not taking adequate measures to tackle it.