Tata Steel was abuzz with activity when factories across the state felt Tuesday’s power pangs. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Timely intervention and private sector efficiency ensured Jamshedpur was kept out of the unprecedented three-grid collapse that left almost half the country without power on Tuesday, making it the only “island” of light in Jharkhand that had turned into crisis management mode ever since calamity struck around 12.30pm.
Civic utility provider Jusco was quick to realise that it was an emergency and immediately started deciding on the measures to ensure power supply was restored in the city that is served by DVC and Tata Power’s plant at Jojobera.
The result was that steel city areas were without power barely for an hour after 12.30pm when the eastern, northern and northeastern grids collapsed. This at a time when the entire state of Jharkhand was struggling to cope.
The immediate fallout of the collapse of the eastern grid was that Jamshedpur got disconnected from the supply chain. This meant, DVC, part of the eastern grid, had to be isolated and power restored using resources from Tata Power and the captive power plant of Tata Steel.
This is exactly what Jusco did, explained chief of Jusco’s electrical department Manmohan Singh.
“The eastern grid collapse took place around 12.30pm which meant the town got cut-off almost immediately,” he said, adding they consulted the management of Tata Steel and decided to tap into the captive power plant inside the works for maintaining the town’s supply — the move even halting production for sometime.
“As we started getting clearance from the load dispatch cell inside Tata Steel works, we started restoring power to different areas of the town using electricity from the captive power plant. By around 4.30pm, power had been restored in all parts of Jamshedpur,” said the senior official of the Tata subsidiary.
Areas under Tata Steel command require 80MVA of electricity everyday and after the eastern grid failure and subsequent isolation of DVC, there was a deficit of 25 per cent.
“We got the deficit down to zero per cent by 4.30pm,” Singh said.
No area in Jamshedpur was without power for more than an hour. No wonder services at banks, post offices remained largely unaffected. That the grid collapse happened around lunch break meant not many customers were inconvenienced.
The power situation at state-owned MGM Medical College and Hospital was also normal. “We get electricity from Jusco. We did not experience any power failure since morning at the hospital,” said superintendent S.S. Prasad.
There were no reports of disruptions at Tata Main Hospital, Tata Motors Hospital and Tinplate Hospital too.