India’s power grid hit by massive outages

Posted at 7:16 AM, Jul 31, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-31 07:16:10-04

(CNN) – Nearly half of India remains in the dark today.

Grid failure hit India for a second day on Tuesday, cutting power to
hundreds of millions of people in the northern and eastern states including
the capital Delhi and major cities such as Kolkata.

The government said the northern, eastern and northeastern grids were hit,
wider than Monday’s blackouts.

Delhi’s metro system ground to a halt and office buildings ran on backup
generators a day after a 12-hour blackout caused commuter chaos in the
bustling capital, underscoring overstretched infrastructure that has weighed
heavily on India’s economy.

“We are waiting since two hours. Metro is not plying. We cannot find means to
go to home. No one has informed as to how much time it will take to restore
the services. We had to face a lot of problems to reach college when similar
situation occurred yesterday,” said Ankit Sharma, a college student.

Another local Sanjiv Kumar said that they were left stranded as the buses were
overcrowded and the auto rickshaw drivers tried to take advantage by charging
exorbitant amount from the passengers.

“We are facing a lot of problems. I had to go to Tis Hazari (place in Delhi).
Now, I cannot go. Buses are overcrowded and auto rickshaw drivers are charging
exorbitantly and they are asking us to pay 200 rupees ($3.60094),” said Kumar.

The northern grid alone covers more than 300 million people from the mountains
of Himachal Pradesh to the Gangetic plains in Uttar Pradesh, which has a
larger population han Brazil.

TV stations said the eastern grid was also affected and a Reuters reporter
said some areas of Kolkata were without power.