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State comes to rescue after three CESC units at Budge Budge trip

A major power failure on Thursday morning brought essential services in entire Kolkata to a near standstill for around 15 minutes.

The state utilities, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) and WPDCL, on Thursday, turned saviour by supplying 700MW to crisis hit CESC after its 750 MW Budge Budge power station tripped on Thursday morning. CESC said the three units of Budge Budge power station totalling 750MW tripped at 9.53 am.

A WBSEDCL official claimed it has supplied 700MW when the demand was around 1250 MW since morning and in evening they have allocated 350MW to CESC till normalcy returns.

With backup from state power, CESC said it was able to normalise the supply by 10.30am. Sources said CESC group Haldia Energy generated in full capacity.

CM Mamata Banerjee on Thursday held a high-level meeting at the state secretariat with the power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and other senior power officials to ensure all possible help to tide over the crisis.

It was learnt that Banerjee has directed power minister to look into the matter so that Madhyamik examinees and people, in general, face no problem.

Chattopadhyay said the Purulia pump storage power plant was pushed into generation within 15 minutes of the tripping instead of normal generation at night.

CESC said Unit II (250 MW) was synchronised at 3:45 pm, followed by Unit I (250 MW) at 4:15 pm, the third unit is expected to be back by 5 pm.
A CESC spokesman thanked the state utility for coming to the help of CESC with an additional supply of power.

As an abundant precaution, CESC had also procured 600 MW power from other sources, especially keeping the ongoing examinations in view, the utility said.

However, the state government is not ruling out the possibility of sabotage behind the sudden disturbance in the network that tripped the Budge Budge unit. Thus, officials of the power department have been asked to remain alert to avoid a repetition of the incident.

Apart from the power minister, power secretary S Kishore and CESC top brass, WBSEDCL and Power Development Corporation Limited (PDCL) were present in the meeting with the Chief Minister at the state secretariat, Nabanna, on Thursday afternoon.

For 15 minutes, metro commuters had a nightmarish experience with hundreds of them getting stuck in dark air-conditioned trains inside tunnels in the morning office hours. Again, critical surgeries in hospitals got delayed with the power failure.
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