India hit by second massive power cut
A second enormous power cut has hit half of India leaving 600 million people without power in one of the world’s biggest blackouts.
The collapse of the grid in the north and east of the country has raised serious concerns about its outdated infrastructure and the government’s inability to meet an insatiable appetite for energy as it country aspires to
become a regional economic superpower.
The failure in the eastern grid came just a day after India’s northern power grid collapsed for several hours. Repair teams managed to restore power several hours later, but at 1.05 pm local time today the northern grid collapsed again.
About the same time, the eastern grid failed as well. The two grids serve about half India’s population.
Traffic lights went out across New Delhi. The city’s Metro rail system, which serves about 1.8 million people a day, immediately shut down for the second day in a row. Police said they managed to evacuate Delhi’s busy Barakhamba Road station in under half an hour before closing the shutters.
The new power failure affected people across 13 states - more than the entire population of the European Union.
India’s demand for electricity has soared along with its economy in recent years, but utilities have been unable to meet the growing needs. India’s Central Electricity Authority reported power deficits of more than 8 per cent in recent months.
The power deficit was worsened by a weak monsoon that lowered hydroelectric generation and kept temperatures higher, further increasing electricity usage as people seek to cool off.
But any connection to the grid remains a luxury for many. One-third of India’s households do not even have electricity to power a light bulb, according to last year’s census.
Later a third power grid in the country’s north-east also failed.