India Starting to Emerge from Blackout

Posted July 31st, 2012 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The lights are flickering back on in New Delhi and other parts of India, hours after a massive power grid failure plunged much of the country into darkness.

Indian media reports power was restored in most of the Indian capital late Tuesday, allowing train service to resume and for traffic lights to come back to life. Officials said power was also being restored to other parts of the country, though estimates for how long it would take to get everyone back online varied.

Tuesday's blackout hit more than 12 states in the country's north and east, leaving more than 600 million people without power.

Indian Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde blamed Indian states for triggering the grid failure by drawing more than their alloted share of power. But the chief of India's Power Grid Corporation cautioned it was too soon to know for sure.

The blackout was the second in as many days. Power companies had restored service to northern India late Monday after an outage that affected more than 300 million people in seven states.

Limited power failures are common in India, but analysts say such large-scale outages highlight the weaknesses in the country's infrastructure as India strives to become an economic superpower.

India relies heavily on coal to produce electricity for its more than 1.2 billion people.