Smog trips Northern Grid: parts of Delhi, train services hit

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New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) Several power lines of the Northern Grid tripped early today, affecting rail traffic and power supply in parts of the National Capital for several hours.

Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) blamed smog, coupled with pollutants for the tripping of lines. Power Grid Executive Director S K Sonee said 99 per cent of the supply has been restored. ''The rest of the lines were transferred to alternative power routes,'' he said adding control rooms were working overtime to restore the power supply.

The problem started late last night and by 0530 hrs today, parts of East and West Delhi were plunged into darkness. ''By 1000 hrs, normalcy was restored in most areas of Delhi,'' Transco spokesperson Rishraj told UNI.

A total of 49 transmission lines in the northern region, comprising Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had tripped.

The failure was caused by smog and pollutants that settled on the insulators of the power plants that resulted in their tripping or what is called a flash over on the insulators. This caused several plants including Dadri, Badarpur and Panipat to black out completely.

Train services controlled by North-central Railway were severely affected by the power failure. Nearly 40 trains were disrupted within the route. But the Northern Railway did not bear any major brunt of the power grid collapse. ''We used diesel engines wherever required and gave additional stopages to trains,'' said Northern Railway spokesperson Rajiv Saxena.

UNI NAB YA KN1452

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