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300 million without power in India

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 01:23

July 30 - Seven of India's states have been affected by the worst electricity blackout to hit the country in a decade, causing delays to commuters, traffic standstill, and problems in hospitals. Joanne Nicholson reports.

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Commuters were stuck across Northern India as a power blackout took hold . A massive grid failure overnight left 300 million people sweltering in the heat. Many were unable to get to work and some hospitals struggled to function. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi and English) VIJAY KAUL, COMMUTER, SAYING: "Nobody has any information, people have been waiting here for the last four hours. The government is not concerned about what is happening and everybody is worried. Seven states were affected including Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Traffic police had to man roads as lights failed. But India's Power Grid Corporation says some vital supplies were restored during the morning and more were expected. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) DIRECTOR OF POWER GRID CORPORATION OF INDIA, I S JHA, SAYING: "There was overdrawing of power as the demand peaked. As a result, two to three grid tripped simultaneously." 40 percent of people in India still don't have access to power and those that do rarely have enough. At peak times electricity is generally short by around 12 percent and that's often a cause of protest. The country recently reduced the amount of money it was pumping into the country's infrastructure because of an economic slump The government has launched an investigation into the power cut - the worst for a decade. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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300 million without power in India

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 01:23