New Delhi: The normal life is slowly returning to normal with power being restored upto a certain extent in some states.

On Monday, whole of North India plunged into darkness as the power supply in eight states was severely affected after failure of northern electricity transmission grid at about 2:30 am.

The states affected were Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.

The collapse of the Northern power grid impacted public transport systems including, Railways and Delhi Metro, while normalcy is likely to return by afternoon.

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"The fault is not known as yet... somewhere near Agra, a failure has happened. We will enquire that," Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said. He said a three-member panel has been set up to look at the exact cause. "At least 60 percent of power supply has been restored overall and 40 percent was restored in Delhi till 10 a.m.," Shinde said.

"Yes there are problems with Northern Grid, we are trying to restore it", said SK Soonee, CEO of Power System Operating Co (PSOC).

Even though the exact reason for the grid failure is yet to be ascertained, official sources that many lines tripped and there could be even be the possibility of over withdrawal of power by some states.
    
"A lot of load has been restored, especially for the essential services such as Railways. The connectivity of thermal plants (supplying power to Northern region) to the grid is expected to be fully restored in the next four to five hours," POSOCO Chief Executive Officer S K Soonee said.
    
Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO), part of state-run Power Grid, manages the transmission grids in the country.
 
"Emergency transmission services are being restored. The work is on and in a few hours, the National Grid would be completely restored," Power Secretary P Uma Shankar said.
    
According to officials, presently, electricity from Eastern and Western grids are being diverted to Northern grid. The Northern Grid, which is estimated to cater to around 28 percent of country's total population, had failed due to dense fog back in January, 2010.
     
The Northern Grid, one of the largest in the country, covers nine places -- Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh.
    
As per the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC), Northern Grid was affected at around 2.35 am on Monday morning. NLDC is the apex body to ensure smooth functioning of the national power system.

The situation was no different in Punjab and Haryana, where engineers were trying hard to restore the supply, officials said in Chandigarh. "It is going to take at least 4-5 hours to restore the power supply in entire Punjab," Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd, Director Distribution Arun Verma said.
     
Haryana Special Power Secretary, Tarun Bajaj said that though efforts were on to restore the supply, "it may take few hours to bring situation to normalcy. Every unit takes time to restart".
     
In Uttar Pradesh, a top official said that about 50 percent of the supply had been restored. "The power supply, which was severely affected after 2.30 AM due to failure in the Northern Grid has been restored in 50 percent of the areas in the state", Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) Managing Director Avnish Awasthi said in Lucknow.
     
He said that supply in Lucknow and Varanasi was restored by 6.30 AM. By 10.30 AM, it was restored in 50 per cent areas in the state, he said, adding that the supply had been re-started in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
     
In Rajasthan, the situation had started improving in some parts of the state. Electricity supply had been restored in areas of Jaipur and the supply would further improve due course, an official in the state capital said.
     
Power Trading Director P S Chandelia said that due to rainfall last night, the electricity demand had decreased in Rajasthan.

Airport services remain unaffected

Meanwhile, operations at the Delhi airport largely remained unaffected even as power supply to six states was hit early Monday morning due to the failure of Northern Grid.
    
"As soon as there was a disruption in power supply, all our essential services like flight arrival and departure, check-in, baggage handling, aerobridge services were shifted to our back-up system. So all these operations remained normal", an airport spokesperson said.
    
"We have one of the best DG (Diesel Generating) back-up system of the world. However, there might be some disruption in our non-essential services", he added.
    
There were reports of air conditioning not functioning in Terminal 1D and some portions of Terminal 3. Also, there was no power in some retail outlets at the airport.
    
"Overall ninety-five percent of our services remained unaffected", a spokesperson said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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