Ananya Dutta

Two power stations shut down

KOLKATA: Several areas of the city including the State Secretariat and some hospitals were severely affected by power cuts here on Tuesday when the shortage in power supply went up to 635 MW as a result of shutting down of two power stations of CESC Ltd., the private power distribution company here. Power supply to Central and South Kolkata was interrupted following the shutdown of the units at Budge-Budge and the Southern Generating Station after a 132 KB power line accidentally snapped at Chakmir at 10-30 in the morning, said Pradeep Gupta, senior manager (public relations) at CESC.

The snapping also caused isolation of the CESC grid at its Howrah sub-station.

Power supply to the Writers Buildings, the Calcutta High Court, the Metro Railway, SSKM Hospital and the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital was disrupted. Traffic had to be manually controlled as streetlights at several junctions were not functioning due to power cuts. “Power supply to most of the important areas was restored by 11-30 a.m.” Mr. Gupta claimed.

CESC made up for the shortfall by importing 600 MW of power from the surpluses of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (WBSEDCL). However, some parts of the city still had to contend with the power cuts.

According to a WBSEDCL spokesperson, the CESC was supplied at full “take capacity”, the upper limit of power they can import from other sources.

Later in the afternoon, the CESC claimed that power supply had been restored at 3-30 p.m. from one 250 MW unit at the Budge-Budge power station and the 165 MW Southern Generating Station. The second 250 MW Budge-Budge unit came online shortly after and by 4 p.m. normal supply was fully restored.