By Sadia Shah
Lahore, Aug 1 (http://www.pakdestiny.com) India has joined Pakistan ‘somehow’ on the electricity front as hundreds of millions of Indians have been left without electricity in northern and eastern India after a massive power breakdown early this week.
More than half the country was hit by the power cuts after three grids collapsed – one for a second day.
Most parts of Pakistan experience power outages daily and Pakistanis have been taking to streets to press the government not to test their patience any more. However every one believes here that a temporary relief we get at the time of general elections.
In India hundreds of trains have come to a standstill and hospitals are running on backup generators.
The country’s power minister has blamed the crisis on states drawing too much power from the national grid.
The breakdowns in the northern, eastern, and north-eastern grids mean around 600m people have been affected in 20 of India’s states.
Pakistan has been facing this problem for the last four years or so. India at least temporary has shared the agony of its neighbour.
Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had appealed to states to stop trying to take more than their quota of power.
“I have also instructed my officials to penalize the states which overdraw from the grid,” he said. Media reports in India have suggested that Uttar Pradesh is among the states that government officials have been blaming for the grid collapse.
But officials in the state denied this, saying there was “no reason to believe that any power operations in Uttar Pradesh triggered it”.
Anil K Gupta, the chairman of the state’s power company, called for “further investigation to ascertain the real cause”.
Also on Tuesday it was announced that Mr Shinde had been promoted to the post of home minister, in a widely anticipated cabinet reshuffle.
‘Complete mess’ By late on Tuesday, officials said the north-eastern grid was fully up and running. The northern grid was running at 75% capacity and the eastern at 40%.
Businesses had to use generators or candles to keep working once it got dark
In Delhi, Metro services were halted and staff evacuated trains. Many traffic lights in the city failed, leading to massive traffic jams.
Much of the country’s railway network has started moving again, although a full service is not expected for many hours and there is a huge backlog to clear.
The failure on the northern grid on Monday also caused severe disruption and travel chaos across northern India.
Chairman of the Power Grid Corporation of India said the exact cause of the power cut was unclear, he said, but that it appeared to be due to the “interconnection of grids”.
“We have to see why there was a sudden increase in load… we will make sure that such a situation is not repeated,” he said. “Our message to people is that they are in safe hands, we have been in the job for years.” (http://www.pakdestiny.com)