Darkness at noon as CESC power supply goes off

23 Feb 2017

Normal life in major parts of the city got disrupted at about 10 in the morning as the 750 MW Budge Budge power station of CESC tripped this morning. The sudden collapse in power supply brought the Metro Railway service in the city to a standstill and triggered panic among commuters as several trains got stranded midway inside the tunnels.

The state government quickly came to the rescue of the electric supplier by providing them power from its Purulia unit. All supplies were restored by about 10:30 am. A CESC spokesman thanked the WBSEDCL, the state government's power utility, for coming to the help of the company with additional supply of power. As an abundant precaution, CESC had also procured 600 mw power from other sources, specially keeping the ongoing examinations in view. "This is the first time in its history that Metro Railway services were affected owing to a power failure," Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said. However she said: "No passenger was affected and everyone was properly evacuated at the stations."

Railway staff, including security men, used torch lights to help passengers in alighting from the trains at the platforms and to move outside in an orderly manner. "None of the trains in motion during that period stopped inside the tunnels as the rakes rolled on to the next station on inertia and were stopped by the motormen at the designated platforms using pneumatic brake system," the spokesperson said. "There are a number of emergency lights inside every coach and these came on as soon as the regular power went off," she said adding that there was no cause for panic among passengers. The Metro system in the city gets its power feed from four substations and that even if three of these are shut down, it can run on supply from one substation. Banerjee also said that normal Metro services were resumed at 10.08 am. Since Madhyamik examination is going on, chief minister Mamata Banerjee called a meeting involving everybody from this sector at Nabanna at 1.30 pm to take stock of the situation.

The meeting was attended by, among others, minister for power Shovon Dev Chattopadhyay, other officials and representatives from CESC. (EOIC)