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Govt responds amid concerns grid will fail if lights switched off over PM’s request

Amid concerns that power grid will fail if all lights are switched off at once over PM Narendra Modi's request to light candle or diya, the government said, "No need to worry, adequate protocols/arrangements are in place to handle the variation in demand." "There is no call to switch off either street lights or appliances at home," government added.

The Ministry of Power on Saturday issued an advisory on PM Modi’s call to switch off lights for 9 minutes this Sunday at 9pm.

The ministry in its release clarified that the apprehensions concerning instability in the power grid due to the switching off lights are “misplaced”.

“The Indian electricity grid is robust and stable and adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand,” the release read.

The advisory added that the call to switch off lights is a voluntary one which does not apply to street lights or appliances like computers, TVs, fans, refrigerators and ACs in the homes.

“Only lights should be switched off,” the advisory stated.

It further said that the lights in hospitals and all other essential services like public utilities, municipal services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities, etc will remain on.

The call is only applicable to residences, the ministry clarified.

“All local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety,” it stated.

On Friday morning, the Prime Minister released a video message and urged all countrymen to switch off their lights for 9 minutes at 9 pm on April 5. He urged all citizens to light diyas, candles or flash the light of their phones as a sign of solidarity in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“I want nine minutes of your time on April 5 at 9 pm. Switch off all the lights of your homes and stand with candles, diyas, torches or flashlights of your mobile phone for nine minutes,” Modi said.

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