Power Restored In India

Power is back up and running after massive blackouts leave millions in the dark

Aug 01, 2012 | By Abby Lieberman
BIKAS DAS—AP

After experiencing the largest power blackout in history, people in India can finally turn on the lights. On July 30, India’s northern electrical grid failed, leaving 370 million people without power. By the next day, that number had grown to 620 million as the electrical blackout spread to more than half the country. The specific cause of the outages is unknown. As of August 1, power had been restored throughout India.

The blackout stranded passengers at railway stations. In factories and offices, work ground to a halt. Miners were trapped in a coalmine in West Bengal. In New Delhi, India’s capital, traffic snarled when traffic lights stopped working.

In New Delhi, the blackout forced commuters to wait for trains.
AP
In New Delhi, the blackout forced commuters to wait for trains.

What Happened?

The failure of three national power national grids plunged half the country into darkness. An electrical grid is a network of power stations, fuel, and power lines that work together to deliver electricity. A failure in any part of the network can cause the power to go out.

The exact cause of the grid failures is unknown. Officials believe that the outage was due to areas consuming too much energy. As India’s power division struggled to meet the increasing demand for energy, the grids were unable to produce the amount of energy that residents were using. “If they overdraw, this is the result,” said India’s Power Minister, Veerappa Moily.

India is the world’s second-most populous nation. It is also a growing economic force. Power shortages are not uncommon in the country. Now, many are wondering whether the country needs to work harder to improve its infrastructure, or basic facilities. According to the Associated Press, Moily, who took over the top power job just this week, said the government would not allow a massive blackout to happen again.