Excessive demand crashes electric grid in northern India- 370 million left without power in sweltering heat

July 30, 2012INDIA A massive power cut has caused disruption across northern India, including in the capital, Delhi. It hit a swathe of the country affecting more than 300 million people in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan states. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said most of the supply had been restored and the rest would be reinstated soon. It is unclear why the supply collapsed but reports say some states may have been using more power than authorized. Mr. Shinde said he had appointed a committee to inquire into the causes of the blackout, one of the worst to hit the country in more than a decade. The committee will submit its report within 15 days, he said. The power cut happened at 02:30 local time on Monday (2100 GMT Sunday) after India’s Northern Grid network collapsed. Mr. Shinde told the BBC that he had been informed about the problem at 05:30. “Within two hours we tried to restore the railways, airport and Delhi Metro services and power supply to essential services, including the railways and hospitals, was restored by 08:00.” The minister said the exact reason for the collapse had not yet been pinpointed but, in the summer, “states try to take more power from the grid” and at the time of the collapse, the grid frequency was “above normal.” That is one of the reasons why the grid failed,” he said. By early afternoon, 80% of the supply had been restored, Mr. Shinde said. –BBC
Grid crash in summer heat: Northern India’s power grid crashed Monday, halting hundreds of trains, forcing hospitals and airports to use backup generators and leaving 370 million people — more than the population of the United States and Canada combined — sweltering in the summer heat. The blackout, the worst to hit India in a decade, highlighted the nation’s inability to feed a growing hunger for energy as it strives to become a regional economic power. Some small businesses were forced to shut for the day. Buildings were without water because the pumps weren’t working. Muslim families were forced to eat their pre-dawn meals by candlelight before beginning their daytime Ramadan fast. “It was really difficult,” said farmer Mohammed Zaman. The northern grid crashed about 2:30 a.m. because it could no longer keep up with the huge demand for power in the hot summer, officials in the state of Uttar Pradesh said. However, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he was not sure exactly what caused the collapse and had formed a committee to investigate it. The grid feeds the nation’s breadbasket in Punjab, the war-wracked region of Kashmir, the burgeoning capital of New Delhi, the Dalai Lama’s Himalayan headquarters in Dharmsala and the world’s most populous state, the poverty stricken Uttar Pradesh. –Business Week
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4 Responses to Excessive demand crashes electric grid in northern India- 370 million left without power in sweltering heat

  1. This gives us an idea of what will happen when most of the North American grid crashes – near complete shutdown. I am impressed, however, with how quickly the Indian power authorities were able to restore most of the power.


  2. Prashant says:

    To be honest, this is silly really. I am in Punjab and saw this Grid Failure. Basically around 3 A.M. i was on my Laptop and the lights went out, basically this is TYPICAL. Usually in 24 hours, we have 8-9 hours of Power Cuts by Government as Demand is too high and supply is f-ing less.

    So i went to sleep by 5 AM, when i woke up at 10 AM, there was still no electricity, i turned on my generator till 2 PM, and then electricity came back. it was a NORMAL FREAKING DAY. i didnt even know of a power grid failure till night.

    Yeah maybe the people in Delhi started crying and crap, but here in Punjab its an everyday occurrence with a filthy stupid corrupt governments made up of illiterate people.

    Just around 1 month ago in Ludhiana, Punjab. The main GRID caught fire due to excessive HEAT , it was around 50 degrees Celcius. We had no electricity for 2 days. And we have personal power generation with Diesel Fed Generators.

    Its so common for us. but when the capital is HIT, they make it a huge issue. In fact, the GRID just TRIPPED due to excessive load and overheating, they shut it down automatically to let it cool down and they turned it back on, its no f-ing rocket science. but our country is going to Hell, Its a piece of sh&*.

    i am okay, my business is okay but people here are slowly loosing control, i am loosing control seeing rise in CRIME, Corruption, Electricity Failures, Internet Debacles, Internet Censorship, Strikes, Protesting. People having huge problems here with DEBT ( thank god i didnt take any), people having massive Depression issues and people under enormous financial burden as Interest Rates here are as high as 16% for normal people doing Businesses.


    • It sounds to me that Punjab is in a similar boat to most of the West, except for the rolling blackouts. We too are having to deal with corruption in our governments, crime is up, corporations are doing their best to take over as much as they can, censorship through peer pressure is growing, strikes and protests abound. It stinks, but it also seems to be the way life in the 21st century is shaping up. I believe that global entropy has gained the upper hand!


  3. Therese Denbeck says:

    I agree!


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