Calcutta reeling under power cuts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tuesday 25 April 2000

Calcutta Calcutta reeling under power cuts The Times of India News Service

CALCUTTA: A series of technical snags in the CESC and West Bengal State Electricity Board's generation and supply systems caused widespread disruption of power supply in the city on Monday, leading to severe power cuts throughout Calcutta.

The problem began at 4:19 pm, when the first unit of the Budge Budge generating station of the CESC tripped. This was followed by the failure at the WBSEB's input points to the CESC at Belur and the Southern generating station. The sub-station station at Princep Street also developed a technical snag at this point. As a combination of these factors, power deficit in the city soared to 260 MW at 4:30 pm, leading to massive power cuts. CESC sources said that the situation was brought back to normal around 6:23 pm.

Meanwhile, the state power department has sent urgent messages to Coal India Ltd and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd to send immediately stocks of coal to CESC , which has been starved of coal for the past few days.

Normally, the generating units of CESC have a buffer stock of 12 days' coal supply. But lack of supply from the collieries has caused a severe deficit in this sphere. The worst case scenario is at the Southern generating station, which has just a day's stock left. The others have stocks varying between three to five days.

This situation has caused the company to generate less power than it does normally. On Tuesday, generation was two million units less than normal, which is 16 million units. Widespread loadshedding occurred throughout the day in the city due to this. Even the Writers' Building experienced a power cut for a short while.

Another reason for the shortfall in city power is the low supply from the West Bengal State Electricity Board. The SEB gives an average of 300 MW to the CESC daily to tide over the crisis during the peak hours, which lasts roughly between 7 pm and 10 pm. But this supply has of late dwindled, which came down to 117 MW on Saturday. "Unless the SEB meets the peak hour demands, power cuts are bound to happen, CESC sources said.

CESC officials said that two wagons of coal, which would enhance the buffer stock by about two days, has arrived at Calcutta Port. "A derailment at the port railway has derailed the offloading, and we expect the stock to reach our stations by tomorrow," said a CESC spokesman.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 25, 2000


Now, stories like this really turn me on. They are very significant. What's happening in India, Pakistan, and Bangledesh right now is EXACTLY what was widely predicted as a y2k scenario last year, the systematic, and systemic infrastructure breakdown of a region.

Too bad Gary North jumped ship. Many of his predictons are starting to unwind as fact, even if in laboriously slow motion, as compared to what--time-wise--was expected.

-- JackW (, April 25, 2000.

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