The tripping of a 500 Mw generation unit of Tata Power on Tuesday morning led to power outages in several parts of south and central Mumbai, an unusual event in the city.
Restoration was expected only late at night. For technical reasons, it was not possible to make good the shortage by bringing in power from outside the city.
Functioning was affected at banks, trading houses and commercial offices, beside hotels. The consumers in question were mostly supplied by the BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport), which gets it from Tata Power and has around a million consumers.
“Dark office in Mumbai. Lights out in the whole area. The coal crisis is beginning to literally show its dark side. A threat to the India story,” tweeted industrialist Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group.
Tata Power Company said the cuts, which began at 945 am, were caused by a technical fault at one of its units and forced it to switch off power to some areas of the city, including some business districts. It did not say what had caused the fault at the power station but that it was working to get supplies back on by the end of the day.
Overloading of the state transmission network prevented local electricity distribution companies from importing extra power available elsewhere in India into Mumbai, Tata said.
Reliance Infrastructure, which supplies power in the city’s western suburbs, also had to curtail supply on instructions from the state load dispatch centre.
Tata Power’s distribution licence was renewed only last month, up to August 2039.