Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his video message to the entire nation had appealed everyone to switch off all lights for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5, Sunday, and light diyas, candles or torch lights to fight the darkness brought upon the country by a coronavirus.

Responding to Modi's call, the Maharashtra Energy Minister said that this can affect emergency services. In a message, he has urged the citizens not to turn off all the lights at the same time. Dr Nitin Raut said, "We should rethink before switching off all the lights at the same time at our homes. This can lead to grid failure and affect emergency services."

Power grid might get affected on Sunday at 9 pm

'It takes 12 to 16 hours to restore power supply' 

He said that this might lead to a potential blackout affecting the emergency services. The demand and supply cycle of electricity will get disrupted if all the lights are switched off at the same time. He further added that the demand for power has already decreased from 23,000 megawatts to 13,000 megawatts amid the countrywide lockdown as all factory units stopped operations.

On Friday, PM Modi had addressed the nation for the third time regarding COVID-19 and had requested the entire nation to switch off all lights for nine minutes on Sunday night. The Minister said that if Maharashtra state suffers from a power loss, it will create a problem in other states too. Adding, "It takes 12 to 16 hours to restore power supply in that case."

Raut appealed to citizens to light lamps and candles by keeping tube lights on. "This will ensure the proper functioning of the grid and uninterrupted power supply," he said. Leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance questioned the logic behind PM's appeal to the citizens.

Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation, meanwhile, ordered all its power grid centres that adequate staff should be present when the fluctuation of energy is expected to take place on April 5 between 8 pm to 10:30 pm. Maharastra housing minister Jitendra Awhad went to the extent of saying that, "I don't understand why they want to make an event of everything. This is nothing but foolishness, childishness."