Tata Power, Reliance Infra trade blame as Mumbai suburbs see blackout

Suburban Mumbai was plunged into darkness from about 5.40 pm las evening following a grid failure, massively inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of people. The power outage lasted from 20 minutes to two hours.

Among those worst affected were those living or working in high-rise buildings, as lifts were stalled. Also, northbound traffic slowed down as road and highway lights went off. The airport too was affected, and it took 20 minutes to restore power there.

The blackout affected consumers of both Reliance Infrastructure and the Tata Power Company (TPC). Power was finally fully restored by TPC around 7.25 pm, while RInfra, whose Dahanu plant had collapsed, took a while longer and got things fully operational by 8.15 pm.

Instead of finding the reason behind the power failure, both TPC and RInfra were busy blaming each other. But what the blackout (which hit suburbs from Bandra to Mira-Bhayander) brought to the fore is that the city lacks a back-up plan, contrary to the distribution companies' promises.

Both Rinfra and TPC have a scattered power supply network to these areas, but the majority of the area comes under RInfra's network.

Speaking to the media, a TPC official said, "The power failure was caused by the tripping of the Dahanu plant along with the three receiving stations of Reliance Infrastructure. This caused Tata Power's Trombay and Salsate lines to trip as well."