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More than 3 billion man hours without electricity, again

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A day after the massive power outage across India, an even bigger one, possibly the largest ever in the world. According to reports, this happened around noon. Power is expected to be restored by 7 PM. WSJ reported:

Some 20 of India’s 28 states were affected Tuesday, and as many as 600 million people – half of India’s population – reportedly impacted. Monday’s blackout, which was caused by a failure of the northern grid, affected eight states with a total population of around 370 million.

Tuesday’s power outage was caused by the failure of the power supply networks in the north, east and northeast regions at 0730 GMT, according to the National Load Despatch Center, a unit of Power Grid Corpof India Ltd. It added that work is on to restore the grid.

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said that efforts are being taken to resume supply as soon as possible, especially to essential services.

The electricity failure resulted in a widespread breakdown of transport and other services. A spokesman for the Northern Railways and Eastern Railways said about 200 trains were stopped in their tracks.

NDTV went beyond New Delhi to report:

19 states and more than 600 million Indians found themselves without power this afternoon, after three major grids that supply electricity tripped in quick succession. Buy 4 pm, power had been restored to 50% of North East India, and large parts of Delhi. By 7.30 pm, the crisis will be resolved, said officials.

The states hit today were: Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, J&K, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and the seven North Eastern states.

IBN Live reports:

The states who have been held responsible for maximum over-drawing are Uttar Pradesh (average daily over-drawing by 26 million units), Haryana (average daily over-drawing by 13 million units), Punjab (average daily over-drawing by 5.2 million units).

ET provides basic information about India’s power grids:

While the northern grid failed for the second straight day, the eastern and north-eastern grids too collapsed. These three grids carry about 50,000 MW of electricity.

About 22 states and union territories have been impacted by the failure of the three grids.

The northern grid covers nine regions – Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh.

At least six states are covered by the eastern grid. They are West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Sikkim.

Meanwhile, the north eastern grid connects Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

India has five electricity grids – Northern, Eastern, North Eastern, Southern and Western. All of them are inter- connected, except the Southern grid.

All the grids are being run by the state-owned Power Grid Corporation, which operates more than 95,000 circuit km of transmission lines.

ET reports small mercies:

Two hundred miners trapped in West Bengal coal mines have been evacuated, while efforts are going on to rescue 65 others stuck in Jharkhand mines.

265 miners were trapped in various coal mines of state- owned Eastern Coalfields and Bharat Coking Coal in the two states following massive power failure across the country due to grids collapse by 1300 hrs.

In a separate report a little after 7 PM in the evening, ET wrote:

Electricity supply has been restored in close to three-fourth of the areas in the northern region, including the national capital, that were severely impacted by power outages since today afternoon.

Seventy per cent or 24,300 MW of power has been restored in the northern region, including Delhi, till 1930 hours, Power Grid said in a statement.

In Delhi, 100 per cent or 4,100 MW, has resumed. State-run Power Grid, which manages grids across the country, said that “supply to (Delhi) Metro and Railway traction (was) restored at 1530 hours”.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 31, 2012 at 11:52 am

3 Responses

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  1. […] Indian power grids failed twice in two successive days! About the first incident, Reuters had a short and crisp report which not only puts out the news, […]

  2. […] is the reason for two successive grid crashes, and the reason why overdrawing of power has continued. It is not politics, it is just […]

  3. […] MIT’s Technology Review tries to figure out the lessons for the rest of the world from India’s recent power grid failures, there are lessons for India as well: India, in particular, operates its grid with one very large […]


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