After three major power breakdowns in Mumbai that brought the city to a standstill in October 2020, February 2022 and April 2022, the Maharashtra government has now woken up and on Thursday established a 20-member high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary to address issues faced by power companies in further strengthening the city’s transmission and distribution networks in a time bound manner and promote coordination among these agencies.
Incidentally, the committee will have 13 special invitees which include the representatives of the MahaVitaran, Tata Power, Adani Electricity and BEST apart from the district collectors of Mumbai, Mumbai Suburbs, Thane, Palghar and Raigad, MHADA vice chairman and CEO and SRA CEO. The presence of these representatives of government and power companies is crucial to avoid delays and remove hurdles in carrying out upgradation and strengthening of the transmission and distribution networks.
This is important especially when Mumbai’s electricity demand is expected to increase to 5,000 mw by 2025 from the present level of 2024-25. The Mumbaikars may face load shedding if the present transmission and distribution constraints are not removed. The power outages experienced due to grid collapse had exposed the limitations of the existing transmission and distribution infrastructure in the city.
The committees appointed by the Central Electricity Authority, state government and Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission had strongly recommended that the city's transmission and distribution networks should be further strengthened so that the power from outside can be brought in easily. Besides, there will be less chances of tripping leading to power outages due to increase in the load. These committees had also suggested that Mumbai's islanding system should be reworked especially in the wake of changing load patterns.
The energy department deputy secretary Mr SD Redekar in the government resolution said that the committee will hold review periodically of the projects implemented by power companies to strengthen transmission and distribution networks and direct them to complete in a time-bound manner. In view of the constraints in the development of new power projects in Mumbai, the committee will ask these companies to take necessary steps to evacuate power through inter-state and intra-state transmission systems and bulk power transmission.
Further, the committee will direct the state government agencies for the allocation of land parcels for the setting up of substations and in necessary to make provision in the development plans of the various departments including urban development department and authorities. The committee will also ask the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation and the state government departments to allocate land for the establishment of GIS technology-based sub-stations.
More importantly, the committee will be instrumental in getting early approvals from the union environment and forest ministry, Salt Commissioner and railways and also from BMC, public work department for laying cables and overheads. Besides, the committee will take necessary steps to address issues relating to right of way.
Power breakdown took place on October 2020 completely paralysed the city
It was due to simultaneous substation tripping in MSETCL's Kalwa, Kharghar causing a huge dip in frequency in Mumbai transmission system which led to tripping of power supply
In February 2022 the city faced another power failure
It was supply disruption from Tata Power and also because of tripping off of a 220 kV transmission line from Mulund to Trombay which resulted in BEST consumers not getting power
In April 2022 there was another power breakdown
It was caused due to the tripping of all 400 kV transmission lines because of isolator problem after sparking observed on the pantograph isolator
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