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Here’s What MSETCL Engineers Had to Go Through to Restore Mumbai’s Power


Here’s What MSETCL Engineers Had to Go Through to Restore Mumbai’s Power
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The snapping of a power line in Karjat on October 10 was the first in a series of events that led to the long power outage in Mumbai a couple of days later. Officials from the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (MSETCL) have now detailed the ordeal faced by its engineers to rectify the power line. 

Around 100 engineers from the MSETCL had to cross dense forests that are known to have wild animals while it reportedly took them an entire day to reach the location. It is said that engineers worked for up to 5 days in shifts to fix the power line. The snapped power line was part of the Talegaon-Kalwa 400kV network which was connected by two A-shaped transmission towers situated a kilometre apart. 

One of these towers reportedly sat on top of a hill with clouds while the other was located below the hill which happens to be the aforementioned forest area. It is also revealed that three of the engineers were stuck on top of the hill for 24 hours without food or warm clothes as heavy rains hit the region on Wednesday. This is truly a testament to the character of the MSETCL engineers and shows the work they put in to solve the power outage crisis.  

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“Though the two towers were just a kilometre apart, the thick jungle and steep incline made this a huge challenge. On top of that, the whole area was covered in fog and it was raining constantly,” an engineer was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.

One of the three engineers who was stranded atop the hill explained the ordeal in detail. “We reached the top of the hill around 4 pm on Wednesday. But because it was raining constantly, we could only leave the place at 7 pm this (Thursday) evening. We only had a 300-watt light on us, which we kept switched on all through the night as protection from wild animals. It was raining heavily and we had only plastic bags to cover our heads. We survived on just two packets of biscuits.”

Read - Maharashtra’s Electricity Consumption Dropped By 13% Between January-August 2020

The Chairman and Managing Director of MSETCL, Dinesh Waghmare, acknowledged the risks they had to take in order to survive. “They were stuck with no food or warm clothes. It was especially dangerous as the area is covered with dense vegetation known to be home to wild animals.” 

With the issues now fixed, this transmission line will supply 500Mw of power to Mumbai, bringing reprieve to millions of citizens in the city.

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut has set up a technical committee to look into the matter. He also said that they’re looking into the sabotage angle given the series of events that occurred. 

“Our team was working on the 400kV Kalwa-Padga line and the load was shifted from circuit 1to 2. But there was a technical problem and the Kharghar unit stopped. There was islanding in Mumbai, which shouldn’t have happened. This is the reason we are suspecting sabotage,” Raut said. 

Also read - Foul Play Can't Be Ruled Out: Nitin Raut On Power Outage In MMR

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