600M Without Power as India's Grid Again Fails

3 grids go down amid soaring demand on taxed system
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2012 6:13 AM CDT
Updated Jul 31, 2012 7:56 AM CDT
A road is packed in heavy traffics following power outage and rains in the central part of New Delhi, India, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. India's energy crisis spread?over half the country today.   (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
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(Newser) – India's maxed-out northern power grid went down a second day today, and this time it wasn't alone. The nation's eastern and northeastern power grids failed, too, plunging more than half of all Indians into darkness in one of the biggest blackouts the globe has seen. Some 600 million people were affected, reports the AP. The outages, seen as fresh evidence of India's inability to keep up with its increasing thirst for electricity, occurred about 1pm local time and stalled everything from businesses to mass transit and electric crematoriums. "The situation is very grave," said a regional power minister. "We are doing everything to restore power."

But that wasn't happening quickly, with officials estimating it would take 10 to 12 hours to get the grids back up and running. "Everyone overdraws from the grid," complained India's power minister. "Just this morning I gave directions that states that overdraw should be punished. We have given instructions that their power supply could be cut." (Read more India stories.)

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