The Ministry of Power on Saturday clarified that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to switch off lights between 9:00 p.m to 9:09 pm on Sunday, April 5 does not extend to street lights or appliances like computers, TVs, fans, refrigerators and ACs.
The Ministry in a statement said, "The appeal of the Prime Minister is to simply switch off the lights in their 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. Only lights should be switched off."
The statement further said the lights in hospitals and all other essential services like Public Utilities, Municipal Services, Offices, Police Stations, Manufacturing Facilities, etc will remain on. "All local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety," read the statement.
Prime Minister's appeal on Friday met with sharp criticism and some apprehensions were expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances.
However, the Ministry stated, "The Indian electricity grid is robust and stable and adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand."
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had said that Modi's call to switch off lights could cause the electrical grid to crash. He tweeted, "An unprecedented drop in electricity demand at 9 pm Sunday and an immediate surge at 9.09 pm could cause the electrical grid to crash. So Electricity Boards are contemplating load shedding from 8 pm and staggered return to normal after 9.09 pm. One more thing the PM did not think about!"
Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut had also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to switch off lights might lead to failure of power grid. He said, "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."