India on Sunday observed a nine-minute blackout called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lit candles and diyas (earthen lamps) to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the coronavirus and "challenge the darkness" spread by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. At 9 pm for 9 minutes, millions of Indians switched off their lights and and lit earthen lamps and candles.
However, there were concerns about the safety of the power grid as some "experts" claimed that the sudden blackout could cause grind failure and fluctuation in voltage, which may harm electrical appliances. However, nothing like that happened and the country's all the power grids are safe and working.
After the blackout, Power Minister RK Singh said that the demand in power grid came down by 32,000 megawatt but despite that all the grids were safe. "Ministry was expecting demand to go down by 12000 MW but it came down by 32,000 MW. Despite that no report of grid failure.' So much for WhatsApp University," Singh told a private news channel.
On Friday, Prime Minister Modi had urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up earthen lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to "challenge the darkness spread by coronavirus".
Maharashtra energy minister raised the power-grid failure alarm
After PM's appeal, Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut had urged him to think again and warned that the sudden outage could cause power-grid failure. If there is a sudden further drop in the demand when people switch off the lights all at once, power stations may go on a high frequency. It could result in feeder trippings in the grid," Raut had said.
After this, "experts" on social media started raising alarms that the blackout could result in total chaos if the grids are hit. However, nothing like that happened and all the apprehensions turned out to be a false alarm.