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July 2012 India Blackout – The Worst Power Crisis Affected Over 60 Crore, 21 States
New Delhi: After one of the the worst ever power crisis, over 60 crore population in 21 around states got affected and suffered because of no electricity for several hours on 31st July,2012 Tuesday as three major transmission grids failed, bringing northern, eastern and north-eastern regions to a grinding halt.
The massive failure came less than 24 hours after the Northern Grid collapsed and was revived on Monday.
On Tuesday, the worst sufferers were 265 miners who got trapped in coal mines in West Bengal and Jharkhand due to power outage. They were evacuated after hours of agony. The Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who was confident that the power would be restored soon on Tuesday issued a stern warning to states which overdraw more electricity than their assigned quota.
“The grid failure maybe because of failure of grid connectivity, or several other reasons. So, taking note of that, we appointed a committee yesterday. The states, which overdraw more electricity than their quota will be penalised,” he said shortly before being made Union home minister in what television channels called a “paper reshuffle” of the Union Cabinet.
Shinde said the situation has now been normalised 45% in northern region, 35% in eastern region and 100% in northeastern region.
“Essential services have begun in Delhi,” he added.
In Meanwhile, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government and two other states – Rajasthan and Haryana – to explain the overdrawing of power and for blatantly flouting of norms governing access to electricity/power supply, which led to grid failures in the northern and eastern parts of India.
As of now, Uttar Pradesh is overdrawing electricity by 5%, Haryana by 51% and Rajasthan by 18%.
“Grid incident occurred at 1pm, affecting the northern, eastern and northeastern grids. The system is under restoration,” said the official website of the eastern grid, among the such systems managed by the state-run Power System Operation Corp Ltd.
The states affected in the Tuesday Power Blackout were :
Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
These states account for half of India’s 1.2 billion poplation.
Shinde, who had constituted a committee to probe the failure on Monday, attributed the collapse on the second straight day to overdrawing of power by some states and said efforts were on to fetch electricity from other regions.
“Alternative arrangements have been made. I have put all my men at work. We are getting power from western grid. We will try to restore services of the Metro and the railways first,” Shinde told reporters.
There was, however, little respite for some 300,000 rail passengers, who were stuck in over 300 trains across eight states, after the power failure crippled such operations across six railway zones in the country.
“Failure in the northern and eastern power grid has affected railway operations across six of our railway zones. Over 300 passenger trains are stuck,” Anil Saxena, additional director general for public relations in the railway ministry, told IANS.
The Delhi Metro suspended service on all the six lines as power tripped for the second straight day. It normally operates over 2,700 trips a day, covering a total some 70,000 km, to carry around 1.8 million passengers on a week day.
A spokesperson for Delhi Metro said after the services were suspended, entry to stations was halted and the trains under operation were brought to the nearest Metro station for evacuation. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority also helped in evacuation.
A couple of hours later, Metro services resumed partially.
In the national capital, and in most other cities, traffic was also severely affected as traffic signals tripped and caused major snarls at intersections. Some 4,000 traffic police personnel in Delhi were immediately deployed to bring some semblance of order.
“Traffic signals are not functioning due to the power failure. We are trying to manage traffic manually. This has slowed down traffic,” Joint Commissioner-Traffic, Satyendra Garg, told IANS.
Flights operations remained normal.
Speaking to reporters at around 4pm, chairman and managing director of Power Grid Corp of India RN Nayak, said close to 50% of power had been restored in the northeeastern region and 20% in the north.
Nayak also said the failure was due to overdrawal of power by some states and that a full inquiry would reveal the nature of the problem. He added that every effort was being made restore supplies fully by 7-7.30pm.
He said excess power drawn by one state had a cascading effect on the three grids. He, however, did not name which state had overdrawn power.
Wikipedia has also added that July 2012 Blackout in India is one of the largest blackouts of the world