Massive Power Outage in Northern India Leaves 300 Million in the Dark
New Delhi, July 30 (RHC)-- A massive power outage has caused disruption across northern India, including in the capital, New Delhi. The blackout hit a wide area of the country, affecting more than 300 million people in nine northern states -- nearly 30% of India's population.
On Monday, India's Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde announced that 60 percent of the supply had been restored and the rest would be reinstated soon.
It is unclear why supply collapsed, but some analysts say that states using more power than they were authorized to use could be one reason. Shinde said he had appointed a committee to inquire into the causes of the blackout, one of the worst to hit the country in more than a decade.
Indiais reportedly facing a huge energy supply shortfall this summer. A shortage of coal -- most of India's energy is thermal -- loss of electricity, a lack of transparency in fixing electricity charges and underperforming private distribution agencies mean that vast areas of India are without electricity for several hours each day.
Monday morning saw travel chaos engulf the northern region of the country, with thousands of passengers stranded when train services were disrupted. New Delhi Metro railway services were stalled for three hours, although the network later resumed service when it received back-up power from a neighboring state.
Traffic lights on the streets of the capital were not functioning as early morning commuters made their way into work, leading to gridlock. Water treatment plants in the city also had to be shut for a few hours. Indian officials said restoring services to hospitals and transport systems were a priority.