New Delhi, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- A major power outage due to a grid failure brought Mumbai, the boisterous financial and entertainment capital of India, and its suburbs to a grinding halt on Monday with thousands of train commuters stranded.
Electricity supply was restored partially hours after the outage, a rare incident in one of the busiest Indian cities.
But the city residents had to suffer massive hardships in the morning rush hours because no power meant the suspension of local train services, the lifeline of the western Mumbai city, home to some 20 million people.
All local trains, the most widely used means of transport in the densely populated city and its surrounding areas, were abruptly halted for hours before being restored gradually.
“In view of interruption in traction power at 10 (am) due to a grid failure, services between Churchgate and Borivili are suspended,” Western Railway spokesperson Sumit Thakur said in a brief statement.
People shared pictures of hapless commuters sitting inside halted trains and in railway stations, waiting for the railway services to resume.
Local trains in Mumbai help over seven million people daily commute between their offices and homes.
But the train services have been curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic with the state of Maharashtra, whose capital is Mumbai, being the worst hit in India.
However, operations at the Mumbai airport and the Bombay Stock Exchange continued uninterrupted.
The power failure also had a domino effect on other vital services like water supply, and traffic signalling systems that caused major traffic snarls in a city that routinely remains choked in peak hours.
Energy Minister Nitin Raut said the outage was due to technical problems amid a regular maintenance work on the supply lines.
“Power supply to railways is restored. Power to other emergency services like hospitals are also being restored,” Raut said in a series of tweets.
The breakdown was “due to (a) grid failure,” which caused a “total failure of electricity in Mumbai,” the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport agency said on Twitter.
Two other power supplies of the city and its suburbs – Adani Power and Tata Power – said they had also been affected by the disruption.
“There is a major power grid failure due to which supply is affected in most areas of Mumbai. As per grid safety protocols, Adani Power System has been able to sustain and islanded,” Adani Power said in a tweet.
The company said it was “currently supplying to critical services in Mumbai around 385MW through AEML Dahanu generation”.
“Our teams are working to restore the supply in the affected areas at the earliest. We regret the inconvenience caused,” it said in a statement.
The power failure shocked the city residents as Twitter was abuzz with trending hashtags like #powercut, #Mumbai, and #poweroutage.
Indian cinema’s iconic star Amitabh Bachchan, who lives in the entertainment city, urged people to keep calm.
“Entire city in power outage… somehow managing this message… keep calm all shall be well,” Bachchan tweeted. “Dongles working.”