India power cut hits millions, among world's worst outages

Comments (32)
tmc wrote:

No reports of riots? Impressive!

Jul 31, 2012 7:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
dgcasey0325 wrote:

tmc, it’s just too hot to riot right now.

Jul 31, 2012 7:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Anthonykovic wrote:

This report confirms once again that India is huge, sweltering and backward society struggling to get by day to day.

Some nations have competent and capable populations, others just don’t.
The attached photo of a sloppily-dressed woman with her bare feet on the seat in a filthy and dilapidated train with bars on the windows — the photo says it all.

Jul 31, 2012 8:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

“With less rain to irrigate crops, more farmers resort to electric pumps to draw water from wells.”

Those darn farmers what are they thinking? Don’t they know that the Power Minister wants the people to SEE those bare shelves?

Jul 31, 2012 10:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Suchindranath wrote:

To manage disasters the size of India, integrity and merit are required. NOT Sixty Six years of “Animal Farm” Quota-Corruption Raj.

Jul 31, 2012 11:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
dareconomics wrote:

Whenever I am at a dinner party, someone always talks about how the BRICs are going to surpass the US soon. They cite all of these useless statistics, but they never discuss what it is really like to live in an economy still in the throes of a failed ideology.

India subsidizes and controls the price of electricity in the entire country. Since nothing is free, the money lost from low rates has to come from somewhere. The utilities simply neglect to invest in their own infrastructure. Then, artificially cheap electricity leads to overusage which when combined with a faltering grid leads to blackouts.

The biggest problem that the BRICs have is their own entrenched interests. Until they address them and free their economies, they will never be able to move up in economic weight class.

http://dareconomics.wordpress.com/

Jul 31, 2012 11:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
smrisk wrote:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/premier_award/2010/events/f/rhg.htm

Above, one of the solutions for a sunny India, and an independent one, too. This must be a “sign from above” that could stimulate moves to greener wave power backup hydro, solar or windmill power- all possibilities for places like hospitals, farms, schools, etc.

Jul 31, 2012 11:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SonoranGirl wrote:

@dareeconomics – The U.S.A. subsidizes and controls the price electricity in the entire country. Every utility submits rates for approval to a state regulatory agency (in addition to other federal regulatory requirements.) Since nothing is free, the money lost from low rates has to come from somewhere, the utilities neglect to invest in their own infrastructure and the federal government (i.e. your tax dollars) subsidizes infrastructure upgrades & improvements for private companies. So our debt load gets a little bigger and we complain about taxes & big government, but the government is getting bigger in part so we can play our game systems on our 50″ television in 68deg. climate controlled comfort.

If we paid the actual cost of electricity and food in the U.S., no one would be able to afford that oversized screen. There would be a tiny middle class. Maybe the biggest problem that the BRICs have is that they don’t have the ability to manipulate the artificial institution of credit for their own short-term gain like we do.

Jul 31, 2012 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

The poor monsoons force farmers to pump more ground water that strains the power grid, increases costs for food in the current year, and reduces ground water tables for future years. The power outages reduce production and profits in many sectors for two days, reduce wages and buying power for workers who are customers, and reduce confidence for current and future investors. Lost wages and profits reduce tax revenues for governments. India suffers in numerous areas for its poor infrastructure in electricity and water management.

Fortunately, China has had a massive irrigation project underway since 2001 that should be complete by 2020 to 2025. China reached its 2020 grain target in 2011, nine years early, and production for the first half of 2012 is up 2.8% over the first half of 2011. China is using aquaculture to stock canals, rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs with fish and fresh water crustaceans. In addition, China has been using reclamation to increase its arable land by 2.5% to 3% each year. In 1993 it was 7% and in 2010 it had reached 16%. China should be able to feed 3 or 4 billion people by 2020 to 2025. China sold food to the US after the floods, fires, and drought damaged US food production in 2011, and the US will buy more food from China in 2012. China should be able to sell food to India in 2012.

Jul 31, 2012 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
neahkahnie wrote:

India is a blind elephant.

Jul 31, 2012 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SeaWa wrote:

What happened to the American customer service centers that were off shored to India? Where are those calls routed?

Jul 31, 2012 1:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Binary wrote:

Geez… I hope that all of those British corporations that have taken the strategic position to move their IT development to India, are ok!!

Jul 31, 2012 1:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

We hear of India making the “paradigm shift” but the truth of the matter is the population is just overwelhming and to top it off the corrurption is unbeleivable. It’s like every indian has corruption in his DNA.
I know all this because I’ve lived there and seen things first hand, India needs to make a major shift by purging corrupt politicians and law enforcement agencies. It is only a matter of time before something drastic happens. God forbid if there was a sunami or a virus out break, it would be armagedon.

Jul 31, 2012 1:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
breezinthru wrote:

Wow!

Jul 31, 2012 1:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
74LS08 wrote:

And US is importing B-1 VISA “specialists” from this country….
Way to go…

Jul 31, 2012 3:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

“Some individual states, particularly in India’s north, have been drawing much more power than expected. When this happens, state authorities are warned by various regional authorities about the excess usage, and penalties may be imposed. Still, the supply of power often continues uninterrupted, sometimes straining the system.

On Monday, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission in New Delhi reprimanded electricity authorities in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand. Officers have been summoned to a hearing, scheduled to be held in two weeks.

Uttar Pradesh tops the states in power overdraws, according to the latest report from the National Load Dispatch Center, which monitors national power use. In June, Uttar Pradesh drew 750 million units more of power than it had scheduled, or 25 percent more than expected.

Punjab and Haryana also surpassed their limits by significant margins, about 7 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively. West India has shown great discipline, led by Gujarat, which drew about 30 percent less power than the state’s assigned quota. The eastern region, which also suffered a grid collapse Tuesday, consumed 7.5 percent less power last month than was expected.

“I want to inform the states not to draw more power that your quota allotted,” India’s minister for power, Sushil Kumar Shinde, said at a news conference in Delhi on Tuesday. “If you do that, it will create a problem for the nation.”

Jul 31, 2012 3:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
libertadormg wrote:

Aging electrical grids the world over are a serious problem. Population explosion will continue to stress nations ability to provide basic needs like electricity. Continued accumulation and hoarding of natural resources, particularly crude oil, will have a major wealth effect to those companies owning it.

Jul 31, 2012 3:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Janeallen wrote:

Let’s see if the Indian people and their Government can come together make an efficient and swift response. Sometimes, the response is more telling than the problem, for the purpose of predicting the future.

Jul 31, 2012 3:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mott wrote:

Democracy in developing nations regrettably leads to corruption at all levels that cripples sound infrastructure for common good.

Regrettably, the formula for success in these developing economies is to have some dictatorial policies in execution till mature infrastructure falls in place and then turning control over to democratic rule. Short of that – things will unfortunately, go south with passing time.

Jul 31, 2012 3:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Yeah…. Cuz Obama!

Jul 31, 2012 3:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:

Two words: Distributed Photovoltaics.

Jul 31, 2012 3:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Great, the one day my DELL laptop won’t work and I can’t get through to ‘Geoff’ in Tech Support.

Who will fix my wireless access issue now?

Jul 31, 2012 3:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
umojaresearch wrote:

Problems like this are where humanity should focus development and improvement. The World would be a better place focusing on serving humanity, rather than being at war with humanity.

Jul 31, 2012 4:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
zhubajie wrote:

It irrefutably establishes the superiority of democracy as a political system. Only in the world’s largest democracy can this be achieved.

Jul 31, 2012 4:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
snapple321 wrote:

Maybe they should outsource their energy.

Jul 31, 2012 4:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Andvari wrote:

Well, I now know where all the ENRON employees went….

Jul 31, 2012 4:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
beancube2101 wrote:

India govt have no real community organized renewable energy programs. They have the technologies, but they don’t care about the homeless. They have above average knowledges, but they ignore education. Now the Internet is going to change that very soon because things are from around the world. Kids are going to get good and easy stuffs from around the world and forget about India because of those backward Indian mentality.

Jul 31, 2012 5:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dnchayes wrote:

Twenty one (21) off-server links to get to this page. Very nearly all of them outside of the Reuters domain.

And no map of the power failure region.

Jul 31, 2012 5:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Simplest engineering solution for resources in India: abortion.

Jul 31, 2012 5:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JACKYSHIBA wrote:

Privatising infrastructure with guaranteed income to private investors within framework of law, will help great leaps in providing successful infrastructure similar to Hong Kong, Hong Kong is small place compared big Country like India, but nothing is impossible, it can be achieved with as many private entities to bid – invest – reinvest as long as private investors make money, they can provide required infrastructures
I will be happy to provide appropriate guidelines if requested

Jul 31, 2012 6:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Jackyshiba promises: “Privatising infrastructure with guaranteed income to private investors within framework of law, will help great leaps in providing successful infrastructure similar to Hong Kong…”

Dude, you sound like a Nigerian wire fraud scam. Anything Jackyshiba recommends, I think we can safely do the opposite…. “And reap great financial benefit for self and family in this transaction.”

Good times. Jackyshiba, you’re either a nut or the best impersonation of a nut I’ve seen in a while.

Jul 31, 2012 7:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MichaelBanks wrote:

700 meters equals 2,296 feet (not 3,000 feet).

Jul 31, 2012 8:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.