Published On: Sun, Apr 5th, 2020

Power Ministry issues 11 FAQs on PM Modi’s call to switch off lights at 9 pm today

New Delhi: The Union Power Ministry on Sunday issued a list of 11 frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers in order to allay apprehensions about switching off lights at 9 pm for nine minutes on Sunday as requested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union Power Minister R K Singh

In the FAQs, the government has stressed that people should switch off only lights at their homes and cleared the Opposition’s concerns regarding load on the power grid in case all electrical appliances are turned off simultaneously across the country.

“Indian electricity grid is well designed to handle such kind of load variation and has several inbuilt levels of control and safety mechanisms to absorb any kind of frequency changes occurring due to such load variation,” the Power Ministry said.

On Friday, the Prime Minister asked citizens to turn all lights off in their houses at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) and to stand at their doors or windows with a candle, diya or torch for nine minutes to defeat the “darkness of coronavirus pandemic”.

In a televised message to citizens, he underlined that this will symbolise the collective power of people and showcase their determination in the fight against the pandemic darkness.

The Power Ministry’s FAQs about lights off the event at 9 pm and grid stability are as follows:

Question 1: Are only domestic lights to be switched off or are street lights, common area lighting, essential services etc lights also to be switched off between 9 and 9:09 pm?

Answer: Only domestic home lights in the houses have to be put off voluntarily as appealed by the Prime Minister. It is again reiterated that no street lights, common area places, hospitals and other essential services have to switch off their lights.
Question 2: Are my domestic appliances going to be safe?

Answer: All your domestic appliances will be safe. There is no need to switch off Fans, ACs, Fridges etc. Indian Electricity Grid is well designed to handle such kind of load variation and has several inbuilt levels of control and safety mechanisms to absorb any kind of frequency changes occurring due to such load variation. Thus, all the domestic appliances will be totally safe and hence should be kept in normal functioning mode as per the requirements.

Question 3: Whether adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle grid stability?

Answer: Yes, all adequate arrangements and standard operating protocols are in place to maintain grid stability.

Question 4: Is it compulsory or voluntary to switch off lights?

Answer: Voluntary. As already said only domestic home lights have to be put off.

Question 5: Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances.

Answer: These apprehensions are totally misplaced. These are normal phenomena and the Indian Electricity Grid is well designed to handle such load variation and frequency changes as per standard operating protocols.

Question 6: Will our grid management and technology deployed withstand the fluctuation that light out may cause?

Answer: The Indian electricity grid is robust and stable and employs state-of-the-art technology. It has in place necessary control and protective elements capable of handling such kinds of fluctuations in demand at any instant of time.

Question 7: Whether appliances like fans, refrigerators, AC, etc should be switched off or kept in the on mode?

Answer: All your domestic appliances would be safe. These appliances should be operated normally as per requirements by the consumers. No need at all to especially switch off at 9 pm.

Question 8: Whether street lights will go off?
Answer: No. In fact, all States/Union Territories/Local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety.

Question 9: Whether hospitals or other emergency and important installations will face light out?

Answer: No, the lights in Hospitals and all other essential services like Public Utilities, Municipal Services, Offices, Police Stations, Manufacturing Facilities, etc will remain on. The call given by the Prime Minister is to just switch off lights in residences.

Question 10: Would a sudden switching off of 20% load not destabilise the grid? What measures will the Ministry take?

Answer: Domestic lighting load is much less than 20 per cent. Such kind of reduction in demand can be easily managed for which standard technical operating protocols are in place.

Question 11: Will there be load shedding? If yes, what will be the impact?

Answer: No load shedding is planned.

ANI

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