India blackout panel blames power grid overload for outages

New Delhi, August 17, 2012 — Presenting the finding of investigations done to discover the reason behind power grid failure that pushed almost all of northern India into darkness, the official panel suggested stern enforcement of grid discipline to be the prime factor.

As per the panel recommendations, the power grid failure was due to the pressure exerted by the states that did not follow the norms and instead drew power vigorously from single unit point.

Describing the failure, the panel said that deviations by the state utilities from the agreed schedules of drawing power led to the twin blackouts on July 30 and July 31 that left half the country without electricity for many hours.

As many as 680 million people were affected by the blackouts. August 15, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said every household in India will have access to power within 5 years, according to newspapers. He also promised improved electric reliability.

The northern grid, which caters to about 28 percent of the country's population, covers nine regions — Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.

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