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Meet discusses steps to avoid blackouts in western region

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 12

THE Union Power Secretary today met Chairmen of State Electricity Boards and State Energy Secretaries of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa and officials of Power Grid Corporation to discuss ways to avoid blackouts in the western region.

Maharashtra and parts of Gujarat suffered from power failures because of low voltage problems in transmission systems on November 5 and 7 and earlier on October 6.

Mr R.V. Shahi, Union Power Secretary, said: "An action plan was drawn today which requires that State utilities confirm frequency and voltage of energy they plan to withdraw from the grid. From time to time, the Western Region Load Despatch Centre (which monitors power transmitted through in the western region grid) will tell SEBs the extent to which load should be reduced. If they do not abide, lines will be disconnected to avoid minor or major system collapses."

State Electricity Boards will complete the work of installing capacitors by December instead of March 2004. Also, all states will work on strengthening of transmission systems, Mr Shahi said. "Severe shortfalls were found especially in the case of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh," he said.

A standing committee comprising technical directors of SEBs, Western Region Load Despatch Centre as well as Central Electricity authority will work out strategies to ensure grid discipline.

Mr Shahi said the decision taken by all SEBs last year to abide by a minimum grid frequency had shown good results. The action plan is expected to bring better discipline and lower system collapses, he said.

The Central Electricity Authority has set up an enquiry into the Maharashtra blackouts. Findings are expected within a week's time.

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