A major grid failure caused a widespread power outage in Mumbai and surrounding areas on Monday, the first such blackout in more than two years that stranded thousands of train passengers and delayed college exams. The two-hour-long blackout prompted Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to order an inquiry.
Thackeray discussed the issue with Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and asked him to make immediate efforts to restore supply in the MMR. An official statement said Thackeray took serious note of the power outage and ordered an immediate probe into it.
“Power cut across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region due to grid failure," the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport agency said on Twitter. Adani Power Ltd and Tata Power Co Ltd, the other two power suppliers to the city of some 20 million, said they had also been affected by the outage.
The state government has asked the suppliers to provide uninterrupted power to hospitals, many of which are treating Covid-19 patients.
Soon, Mumbaikars took to social media to jot down their complains - the scorching heat, no Wi-Fi, stuck in transit - these were some of the common posts we came across. Others wrote about privilege, and how electricity shouldn’t be taken for granted.
While no electricity across the city does result in inconvenience, especially for those writing exams or working from home, Twitter users were quick to point out that such power outage is pretty common in other cities and states.
For instance, a Twitter user from Kashmir said that they too had been without electricity for the past one hour - almost coinciding with the outage in Mumbai. Another Twitter user said that many parts of West Bengal had been without electricity for days following supercylone Amphan — yet there had been no such hue and cry back then. Not just West Bengal, in 2019, Cyclone Fani which ravaged through Odisha too caused power outage for almost a week - in the peak summer months, to top it off.
Another resident of Kalap, a village in Uttarakhand, tweeted that around 6-7 years ago, their area too had gone without electricity - for more than a year. “Same country as you, Mumbai," the user wrote.
And here in Kashmir electricity in winters is nothing but a joke and also this time my area is without electricity from last 1 hour.Enjoy Mumbai. #poweroutage— Abrar Allaqband (@abrarallaqband) October 12, 2020
This is our little village of Kalap (https://t.co/fmQOwNsrUx) in the Tons Valley of Uttarakhand. In 2013-14, we went without #Electricity for a continuous period of, hold your breath, 1.5 years.Same country as you, Mumbai. pic.twitter.com/6zy7ztfGBc
— Historywali (@historywali) October 12, 2020
#mumbai is facing #powercut for 1 day and they are going crazy. Here in West Bengal, we spent 9 days without electricity after Amphan cyclone which totally destroyed our electricity system.— Arka Roy (@Arkaroy148) October 12, 2020
I’m from UP and these people can’t imagine how we survive without electricity when there’s heavy rain for days 😭— vivek ☘️ stream Golden (@beinguzumaki) October 12, 2020
Must say… ppl in bhubaneswar can adjust with anything and everything. Remember fani.. light went for straight 10 days.. no complain anywhere..— silpa kar (@KarSilpa) October 12, 2020
Bombay got one power cut today and entire twitter is complaining? How cute. Tata took over the electricity board in Bhubaneswar, hiked the rates by 20% and the power cuts by 120% and we didn’t even say a word.Pakhala Diaspora are a different breed altogether.
— Baibhav Mishra (@mishra_baibhav) October 12, 2020
The failure in Mumbai was caused by “technical problems" during maintenance work, the energy minister of Maharashtra said in a video message. Power has now been restored to many areas of the city.