Amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to light candles, Diya on Sunday 9 PM, for 9 minutes, Prasar Bharati has issued an advisory stating that citizens should not use alcohol-based sanitizers while lighting as it is inflammable. PM has requested all citizens to light diyas and candles at 9 PM for 9 minutes on Sunday as a mark of unity that Indians are fighting COVID-19 together.
Refuting the claims of Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Friday that switching off lights can lead to a grid failure and affect emergency services, the Ministry of Power on Saturday stated that apprehensions of grid failure and voltage fluctuation are misplaced.
"No call to switch off street lights or appliances at homes. Only lights should be switched off. The lights in hospitals and other essential services will remain on. Local bodies have been advised to keep street lights on for public safety," ANI quoted the Power Ministry.
Earlier on Friday, Maharashtra Energy Minister had stated that switching off all lights at a particular moment might lead to a potential blackout as it would affect the demand and supply at the very instance. He stated that it might even take up to 12-16 hours to restore the services as the demand has already decreased from 23,000 megawatts to 13,000 megawatts since factory units are not operating.
PM Modi, in an address to the nation on Friday, appealed to the citizens to switch off the lights in their homes for nine minutes on April 5 at 9 pm in order to show the nation's unity in the fight against coronavirus pandemic. PM Modi in his third COVID-19 speech said, "On Sunday, April 5, we must challenge Coronavirus & introduce it to the power of light; 1.3 billion people must show their united power, at 9 pm for 9 minutes, by turning off all lights at home, standing at balconies, & lighting diyas, candles, flashlights." In his appeal, PM Modi reiterated people to maintain social distancing and keep off from the streets. Currently, India has reported 2902 COVID-19 cases with 68 deaths till date.