Publication Date : Tuesday 31 July 2012 17:46
600 million without power as massive blackout plagues India
India’s northern and eastern power grids have failed, plunging half the country into darkness. It is the second consecutive day in which blackouts struck India.
Power outages darkened over 19 states according to local officials, including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, J&K, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, UP, Himachal, Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.
Power has been restored in the coastal state of Odisha, reports television channel NDTV.
"The north, northeastern and the eastern grids are down but we are working and we would have them restored shortly,'' Naresh Kumar, a spokesman at the Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd, said to AFP.
Hundreds of miners are reported to have been trapped in Burdwan, North of Kolkata following the outages.
"We are trying to rescue the coal miners. All efforts are on to resume power supplies. You need power supplies to run the lifts in the underground mines," Mamata Banerjee told reporters in the state capital Kolkata.
While in the Indian capital around 100 MWs of emergency power is currently being pumped into priority areas, such as hospitals and traffic signals. Power is also being channeled into the subway to help get stranded passengers to the nearest station.
The subway has been partially restored after coming to a grinding halt when the power cut struck.
Additionally, at least 300 trains have been affected by the outage across the North of the country.
A grid failure in Delhi and much of northern India left more than 300 million without electricity on Monday.
This was one of the worst power outages to hit the country in more than a decade. By mid-morning on Monday, electricity had returned to parts of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir also suffered blackouts.
Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde issued a statement saying that a three-member committee would be charged with determining the causes of the mass blackouts. He did not address claims that the outages may have been triggered by some states drawing more than their share of energy.