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India power outage hits 350m people!

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Informer, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Informer

    Informer JF-Expert Member

    Jul 30, 2012
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    July 30, 2012 | BBC

    Trains were stranded after the outage

    A massive power cut has caused disruption across northern India, including in the capital, Delhi.

    It hit a vast swathe of the country affecting more than 300 million people in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan states.

    Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said 60% of the supply had been restored and the rest would be reinstated soon.

    It is unclear why supply collapsed, but states using more power than they were authorised to could be one reason.

    Mr 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.

    Travel chaos

    The outage happened at 02:30 local time (2100 GMT) on Monday after India's Northern Grid network collapsed.

    Monday morning saw travel chaos engulf the region with thousands of passengers stranded when train services were disrupted in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

    Delhi Metro railway services were stalled for three hours, although the network later resumed service when it received back-up power from Bhutan, one official said.

    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.

    Officials said restoring services to hospitals and transport systems were a priority.

    Power cuts are a common occurrence in Indian cities because of a fundamental shortage of power and an ageing grid. The chaos caused by such cuts has led to protests and unrest on the streets.

    Earlier in July, crowds in the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon blocked traffic and clashed with police after blackouts there.

    Correspondents say that India urgently needs a huge increase in power production, as hundreds of millions of its people are not even connected to the national grid.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has long said that India must look to nuclear energy to supply power to the people.

    Estimates say that nuclear energy contributes only 3% to the country's current power supply. But the construction of some proposed nuclear power stations have been stalled by intense local opposition.
  2. Informer

    Informer JF-Expert Member

    Jul 30, 2012
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    Helen Pidd, Delhi |, Monday 30 July 2012

    Train passengers wait for power to be restored at a station in New Delhi. Photograph: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

    The worst blackout to hit India in more than a decade left 350 million people in seven northern states without power for more than eight hours on Monday (today).

    The capital Delhi, as well as the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir were all affected.

    Hundreds of overnight trains were stopped in their tracks after power to northern railway lines was cut, and Delhi's metro system was badly hit. Water supplies in the capital, always patchy, were hit as a knock-on effect. Traffic jams were even worse than usual after most traffic lights failed.

    Around 11am local time, India's minister for power and energy, Sushil Kumar Shinde, claimed 60% of power had been restored to the northern grid.

    He then prompted widespread incredulity by claiming that India had one of the best power grids in the world and boasting that when the US faced a similar failure in 2008, they took power from India.

    This time, it was neighbouring Bhutan which came to India's rescue, as Delhi's metro drew on hydroelectric power from the country. Services on all six metro lines resumed by 8.45am after almost three hours of disruption.

    Shinde said the power cut was caused by some states taking more than their fair share of electricity. "The reason for the outage was due to some states taking more power than they ought to have, which causes the frequency rate of the grid to go up. The offending states will be severely penalised," he told a press conference in Delhi.

    A three-member committee would be formed to probe what had caused the entire Northern grid to fail, he added.

    Amid the public anger there was humour, mocking a nation which sees itself as a future super-power but cannot even keep the lights on.

    "Spiderman found drunk and unconscious on Delhi pavement. Why? With no power comes no responsibility," said one tweet.

    For India's middle classes, the first they knew of the power cut was when they awoke drenched in sweat after their air conditioning units failed. But for the hundreds of millions of Indians who live below the poverty line, regular electricity is a far-off dream.

    In 2011, 289 million people – 25% of India's population – had no access to electricity. In rural areas that figure rises to 33%, according to a report from the Indian government in 2011. Estimates from the International Energy Agency suggest that even in 2030, not all Indian homes will have electricity, according to AEA calculations.

    India is the world's fifth-largest electricity producer after the US, China, Japan and Russia, but its per capita consumption is among the world's lowest. Last year, Indians used 510 kg of energy each compared with the US, which consumes 7,778 kg of energy per capita. The world average of energy consumption is close to 1818 kg.

    Indian politicians are forever coming up with new electricity saving wheezes. The state of Punjab has just banned air conditioning units in all government offices and from 1 August will cut office hours to 8am to 2pm with no lunch.
    There was outrage in June when the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, decreed that all malls were to shut at 7pm in a bid to save power.

    India's power supply is so insecure that even a stray moggy can plunge millions into darkness. On Saturday, a cat leapt into a Delhi grid station and was electrocuted, causing a fire that left parts of east Delhi without power for 24 hours.
  3. Sangarara

    Sangarara JF-Expert Member

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    How could this have affected Tanzania, I know we are sugaring our tea from there? should I expect the sugar price increase?
  4. M

    Mokerema JF-Expert Member

    Jul 31, 2012
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    India a member of the fast growing economies in the World (BRICS ) is facing a total Grid failure for the second day. Therefore those advocating privatization of the power sector should think twice before their dream comes true. This happened in the USA in 2006 and the Federal Gvt. Injected over 40bn dollars to arrest the situation.
    Professor Muhongo the new Minister for Energy and Minerals was quoted to have ruled out loadshedding in Tanzania. This might an overstatement of the situation on the ground.

    With water levels dropping fast especially in Mtera Dam it's very likely that there must be loadshedding in Tanzania this year. Just read for yourself this from India:

    Half of India Crippled by Second Day of Power Failures

    NEW DELHI — The world’s largest blackout ever crippled roughly half of India for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, sending officials scrambling for an explanation.
    The power failure spread across 22 of the country’s 28 states, an area whose population is nearly 700 million, almost 10 percent of the world’s population. Hundreds of trains stopped across the region and, in Delhi, the subway system stalled, and massive traffic jams collected as traffic lights stopped functioning.
    But despite the scale of the power failure, many Indians responded with shrugs. In the first place, India’s grid is still being developed and does not reach into many homes. An estimated 300 million Indians have no routine access to electricity.
    Second, localized failures are routine. Diners do not even pause in conversation when the lights blink out in a restaurant. At Delhi’s enormous Safdarjung Hospital, doctors continued to rush around as hundreds of patients lay in darkened hallways.
    Third, so many businesses employ backup generators that, for many, life continued without much of a hiccup. Dr. Sachendra Raj, the manager of a private Lucknow hospital, rented two new generators two months ago, and they were keeping the hospital’s dialysis machines running and the wards air-conditioned. “It’s a very common problem,” Mr. Raj said. “It’s part and parcel of our daily life.”
    The root cause of the vast power failure was not immediately clear. India has struggled to generate enough power of its own to fuel businesses and light homes, and the country relies on huge imports of coal and oil to power its own plants. While top government officials blamed several northern states for pulling more power from the national grid than they had been allotted, those states have been power needy for years.
    It is also unlikely that power demands suddenly spiked this week since monsoon rains have lowered temperatures in recent weeks across much of northern India. An investigation has been started, with some government officials pointing to a relay problem near the Taj Mahal as the prime culprit.
    The government — which controls much of the nation’s electrical grid and generating capacity — carried out a cabinet shift, announcing that it was promoting the power minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, to the more important post of home minister. Mr. Shinde immediately tried to shift attention to the power-hungry northern states.
    “I have asked my officers to penalize those states which are drawing more power than their quota,” Mr. Shinde said.
    Surendra Rao, who was the chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2001, when the nation’s last major blackout occurred, said that a fairly sophisticated system of circuit breakers should have prevented the failures on Monday and Tuesday. But, he said, the people manning the circuit breakers are bureaucrats beholden to state government officials, who are loath to have the power in their locality shut off — the usual prescription when power surges threaten the national grid.
    “The dispatchers at both the state and the regional level should have cut off the customers who were overdrawing, and they didn’t,” Mr. Rao said. “That has to be investigated.”
    Mr. Rao said he hoped the power crisis would lead ministers at the national and state levels to realize that far more of the country’s electrical infrastructure should be privatized. “These crises will force us in that direction,” he said.
    Government officials claimed that power was restored by early Tuesday evening to 90 percent of those who lost power during the day. Still, a senior official at the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation said that much of the state, including rail and water lines, were still without power at 5:45 p.m.
    Prakesh Javadekar, a spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is the main opposition party, said the blackout was “a huge failure of the management of the power sector by” the governing coalition, which is led by the Congress Party.
    About 200 coal miners in West Bengal were stranded in underground mines when the electricity to elevators was shut off, according to media reports.
    “We are waiting for the restoration of power to bring them up through the lifts, but there is no threat to their lives or any reason to panic,” said Nildari Roy, a senior official at Eastern Coalfields Limited, the mines’ operator, according to media reports.
    Tuesday’s blackout started shortly after 1 p.m., a little more than 34 hours after Monday’s blackout began.
    On Monday, some officials said the scale of the power failure was an anomaly. “This is a one-off situation,” said Ajai Nirula, the chief operating officer of North Delhi Power Limited, which distributed power to nearly 1.2 million people in the region. “Everyone was surprised.”
    But on Tuesday, officials had yet to figure out why the power failure was so widespread.
    “We seem to have plunged into another power failure, and the reasons why are not at all clear,”said Gopal K. Saxena, the chief executive of BSES, an electric company that services South Delhi, in a telephone interview. It may take a long time to restore power to north India, he said. Officials scrambled to get more power generation into the nation’s electricity grid.
    “We are taking hydro power from Bhakhra Nangal Dam,” in northern India, said Sushil KumarShinde, the power minister, in a televised interview.
    A trade body, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, or Assocham, said that Monday’s power problem “totally disturbed the normal life and has severely impacted the economic activities.”

    Sruthi Gottipati, Niharika Mandhana and Hari Kumar contributed reporting.

  5. m

    mwabakuki JF-Expert Member

    Jul 31, 2012
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    kwani umeme tu_import from India? kweli Mungu akunyime vyote lakn si busara