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India has added significant coal fired generating capacity in the past year, analysts said, but much of it sits idle because transmission lines can't handle the added load. Meanwhile, government influenced pricing, driven more by politics than the market, often leaves suppliers unwilling to meet demand.
Massive India outage puts 600 million in the dark
electricity, even in the best of circumstances.
The official responsible for the power grid appeared unlikely to pay a political price. Amidst the blackout, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was named home minister, which is considered a promotion.
Foreign analysts said the blackout, combined with other factors, was a worrying sign for India's Fendi Monster Creature Backpack
"The size of this is a surprise," said Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, foreign editor of the Hindustan Times newspaper. "But the fact it happened, as a consequence of a whole series of micro decisions not made, is not."
And rolling blackouts are common in Indian cities, given the Miu Miu Backpack 2017 aging grid, an increase in demand by millions buying new refrigerators and flat screen televisions as they climb into the middle class, and a 9 percent shortfall in electricity at peak hours. Many houses and businesses have their own backup generators.
But many people took the crisis in stride. According to the last census, one third of the nation's 1.2 billion people have no access to Fendi Handbag Red
State officials accused each other of exceeding their allocated share of power. Analysts said a weak central government is at times so worried about the next state or national election, and so wary of offending small allies, that it balks at decisions with a clear national benefit.
Some said India should be judged by the significant progress it has made since it started to reform its economy two decades ago. The government announced after the first grid failure Monday that it was appointing a three member panel to study the causes and submit a report within 15 days.
"If you're doing a country risk assessment of where to go and where to stay, increased cost, a less willing political system and an unreliable grid are not good factors," he said.
Among them, analysts say, are a weak and indecisive national government, entrenched bureaucracy and a singular focus on local issues at the expense of the common good, all of which threaten foreign investment and undercut the aspirations of a young, vibrant population.
The Power Grid Corporation of India reported late Tuesday that nearly all service was back to normal. Some 250 coal miners, trapped underground when electrical pulley systems stopped, were rescued, local media said.
Energy officials said the immediate causes of the blackout were unknown, adding that poor rains that limited hydroelectric generation and high temperatures related to this year's weak monsoon could be factors.
NEW DELHI On one level, the power outage that stalled trains, snarled traffic and left hospitals scrambling across much of India was an example of business as usual except, of course, that this time it covered an area including nearly 10 percent of the world's population.
long and hard for better infrastructure, said the blackout was a wake up call. Power outages undercut competitiveness, reducing India's growth rate by an estimated 1.2 percent, according to the government's Planning Commission. Kanoria, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement.
But the collapse of an entire grid is rare: the last such failure involving the northern grid occurred in 2001. Finger pointing was well under way.
Opposition politicians slammed the government for mismanagement and policy paralysis. "This lowers the esteem of the country in the eyes of the world," said Prakash Javadekar, spokesman with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. "The country is suffering."
The trouble started shortly after midnight Monday. India's Northern Grid failed, affecting 300 million people in seven states. With the help of power diverted from neighboring states and as far away as Bhutan, service was restored by evening. Tuesday, taking two more of the country's five grids with it. That left the capital with only 1 percent of its usual power supply and tempers fraying in 90 degree heat.
But taken another way, Tuesday's massive blackout the second in two days underscored the yawning gap between India's superpower dreams and a gritty reality. Problems with an aging electrical grid, pricing system and inefficient mining practices combined to darken a stretch of northern and eastern India that is home to 600 million people, in the process illustrating deep structural problems.
Richa Hingorani, who works for a civic group in Delhi, countered the sweltering heat and lack of air conditioning by fanning herself with a newspaper for hours. "With bumper to bumper traffic, it took me 40 minutes to travel a distance that should've taken 10 minutes," she said. "There's no Internet, and little respite when you leave the office, since there are so many crowds."
Retroactive taxation and cumbersome licensing procedures have discouraged foreign investors at a time when India badly needs jobs for millions of its young people entering the workforce annually.
"For the power cut to hit the political nerve center of the country should make heads turn," said Vasudha Sinha, 31, a media worker. "Of course, this makes India look bad abroad." Citing the country's marketing campaign, she added: "The light has finally gone out of 'India Shining.' "
ability to keep attracting investment.
The business community, which has lobbied Fendi Handbag New Collection
India's economy grew by 5.3 percent in the first quarter, its slowest quarterly growth in nine years. Manufacturing, agriculture and services all lost momentum, including the call centers that have absorbed legions of young, well educated Indians.
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