Situation Update No. 1
Event: Power Outage
Location: India Multiple areas Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir
India’s worst power grid failure in a decade cut electricity supplies to nearly 360 million people in seven northern states today, shutting transport networks, triggering commuter chaos and halting water supplies. About 50 percent of the system has been restored and the remainder should resume in 3 to 4 hours after all generation plants start functioning, V.V. Sharma, a general manager with the systems operation unit of Power Grid Corp. (PWGR) of India, said by phone. The company is analyzing what went wrong, Sharma said. Businesses across much of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan states, had to turn to generators, while services on New Delhi’s metro and Indian railways were suspended for several hours. Traffic signals failed, jamming roads. “This again highlights how poor infrastructure remains the biggest drag on the Indian economy,” said D.H. Pai Panandiker, president of R PG Foundation, an economic policy group based in New Delhi, who stayed home because his office doesn’t have any electricity. “The power sector remains too over-regulated. Unless private companies are allowed greater involvement, the problems are going to remain.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seeking to secure $400 billion of investment in the power sector in the next five years as he targets an additional 76,000 megawatts in generation by 2017. India has missed every annual target to add electricity- production capacity since 1951.