Monday, 30 July 2012

India Black out: 300 million without power

Grid failure left more than 300 million people without power in New Delhi and much of northern India for hours on Monday July 30, 2012 in the worst blackout for more than a decade, highlighting chronic infrastructure woes holding back Asia's third-largest economy.

Reuters report monitored by Nigeria Energy Intelligence indicate that the lights in Delhi and seven states went out in the early hours, leaving the capital's workers sweltering overnight and then stranded at metro stations in the morning rush hour as trains were cancelled. However, electricity supplies were restored to Delhi and much of Uttar Pradesh, a state with more people than Brazil, by midday (0630 GMT). But the states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir were still without full power in the early evening. 

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said all power would be restored within hours. Power shortages and a creaky road and rail network have weighed heavily on the country's efforts to industrialize. Grappling with the slowest economic growth in nine years, Delhi recently scaled back a target to pump $1 trillion into infrastructure over the next five years.

Major industries have dedicated power plants or large diesel generators. Office blocks, hotels and large apartment buildings also use backup diesel generators.

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