|Millions of people across India will turn off lights for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday (april 5) after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Thursday (April 2) and urged Indians to stand together to "fight the darkness of coronavirus pandemic".|
In a video message, the prime minister made an appeal to the nation: "On April 5, Sunday, at 9 pm, I want 9 minutes from all of you. Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or balconies and light candles, diya (lamp) or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes. No one is alone during the lockdown, the collective superpower of 130 crore Indians is with every citizen."
This was PM Modi's address to the nation since the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in the country. In India, the COVID-19 count has crossed the 3,000-mark with the number of deaths rising to 77 till Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, some state electricity boards on Saturday (April 4) expressed concern that sudden mass power fluctuations, which will happen due to turning off of millions of lights at the same time , could lead to failure of power grid when the power surges.
The Union Power Ministry, however, released a statement confirming that these fears are unfounded and the power grids will not face any issue.
"There is no call to switch off street lights, computers or appliances such as TV sets, fans, refrigerators and air-conditioners in the homes, the government said. "Only lights should be switched off. The lights in hospitals and all other essential services like public utilities, municipal services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities, etc will remain on..." the statement read.