Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Power restored in India after world's biggest blackout

Text by News Wires , By France 24

Latest update : 2012-08-01

Power in India was fully restored on Wednesday after two days of grid failures in several states caused massive blackouts that affected around 600 million people.

AFP - India's power network was back at full capacity Wednesday after two days of massive outages that blacked out half the country and left more than 600 million people without electricity.

"Power has been restored fully across the northern, eastern and north-eastern grids," Power System Operation Corp. chief S.K. Soonee told AFP.

Monday's failure of the northern network, followed by the expanded collapse of all three grids after midday Tuesday caused chaos across a vast region, paralysing transport networks.

Hundreds of miners were trapped underground for hours in the eastern states of West Bengal and Jharkhand, metro services were stopped temporarily in the capital New Delhi and hundreds of trains were held up nationwide.

New Power Minister Veerappa Moily, who was appointed to the post in a cabinet reshuffle even as Tuesday's unprecedented crisis was still playing out, admitted he faced an enormous task in restoring public confidence.

"It is a very difficult and challenging situation, and solutions will have to be found," Moily said in a series of interviews with Indian television networks, one of which was interrupted by a blackout.

According to senior ministry officials, the two successive days of grid failure had been triggered by energy-hungry states drawing power beyond their allocated limits.

"I'm not going to start with a blame game. The centre and the states will have to work together on this," Moily said.

"The fact is that energy demand across India is huge, and we have to try and keep in touch with the pace of development," he added.

The massive power cuts left Indians angry and frustrated in cities across the affected region, as they struggled through gridlocked streets in the humid monsoon heat.

Wednesday's newspapers were predictably critical of the government, saying it lacked the political will to implement long called for reforms in the power sector.

"Powerless and Clueless," ran the front-page headline in the Times of India, while the Economic Times splashed with "Superpower India, RIP".

Business lobby group the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimated the losses to small and large business in billions of rupees (tens of millions of dollars) and said India's investment image abroad had taken a major hit.

The repeated outages "carry a very negative image of India, when already sentiments about the country are low on account of the current economic situation," CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement.

As one of the world's fastest emerging economies, it is "imperative that our basic infrastructure requirements" are in keeping with India's aspirations, Banerjee said.

"The recent developments have created a huge dent in the country's reputation that is most unfortunate," he added.

The government has set a target of $400 billion of private and public investment over the next five years, but its track record is abysmal.

India has undershot every electricity goal it has set for itself in its economic plans for the past six decades -- and in the last three plans has missed capacity addition targets by 50 percent, according to the government Planning Commission.

Monday's outage had seen the northern grid, which supplies nine states including Delhi, collapse for six hours shortly after 2:00am.

In total, 20 out of 29 states were affected by Tuesday's expanded failure, which also had a far greater impact because it hit slap in the middle of the working day.
 

Date created : 2012-08-01

  • INDIA

    Half of India without power after grid failure

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Grid failure leaves 300 million Indians without power

    Read more

COMMENT(S)