Grid collapse hits power supply in eastern states

Bhubaneswar/Kolkata: The eastern grid collapsed on Tuesday disrupting power supply in five eastern states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Sikkim. "The eastern grid collapsed at 1:00 pm. It is a catastrophic power disaster. There is no power in any district in the state," West Bengal Power Minister Manish Gupta said. About 17 to 18 states were affected by failure of grids, including the northern, Gupta said, adding in the eastern region, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Sikkim were affected.

Though authorities in Odisha so far restored power in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack the problem was yet to be sorted out in seven districts of the state. 

On the reason for the failure, Gupta said, "Such a catastrophe can happen in case of excess drawal of power illegally from the grid by a state."  He said the Central government should ensure that states maintain discipline.

Gupta said, "We are contacting the Eastern regional load dispatch centre. Power is likely to be restored gradually. We are keeping a watch on the situation which may partly improve by the evening. But, total restoration will take some time".

"We are restarting generation at the state-owned Bandel and Kolaghat power plants," he said, but it would take some more time to restart power in other plants.

Train services were halted on Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda, Adra, Chakradharpur, Ranchi and Kharagpur divisions of Eastern and South Eastern railways. Gupta said that it would take some time to restore power supply to trains.