Power Outages Leave 600 Million In India In The Dark

For the second day in a row, massive power outages have struck wide areas in India:

(AP) NEW DELHI – India’s energy crisis spread over half the country Tuesday when both its eastern and northern electricity grids collapsed, leaving 600 million people without power in one of the world’s biggest-ever blackouts.

The power failure has raised serious concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and the government’s inability to meet an insatiable appetite for energy as the country aspires to become a regional economic superpower.

The outage in the eastern grid came just a day after India’s northern power grid collapsed for several hours. (Click on the player at left for a full report). Indian officials managed to restore power several hours later, but at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday the northern grid collapsed again, said Shailendre Dubey, an official at the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp. in India’s largest state. About the same time, the eastern grid failed as well, said S.K. Mohanty, a power official in the eastern state of Orissa. The two grids serve about half India’s population.


The new power failure affected people across 13 states — more than the entire population of the European Union. They raised concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and its insatiable appetite for energy that the government has been unable to meet.

India’s demand for electricity has soared along with its economy in recent years, but utilities have been unable to meet the growing needs. India’s Central Electricity Authority reported power deficits of more than 8 percent in recent months.

Of course, some people may not have noticed. More than 1/3 of the country, some 300 million people, lacks any access to power at all regardless of whether the grid is up or not.

FILED UNDER: Asia, World Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    How are those call centers and code sweat shops in India working out for you now?

  2. From an objective perspective, India does have better overall electricity supply than it had a decade ago. That said, foreign investors are not likely to respond well at all to such bad publicity. When it comes to perceptions of investment risk, big events like these can be disproportionately important. The country also does not have an efficient system that monitors demand in different parts of the grid.

  3. Paul Felix Schott says:


    This nation’s electric power grid is something most all of us think will never fail. Larger storms are putting more people without power in the dark every year worldwide.
    One event not from a storm like the 2003 blackout on the northeast coast of the United States that took place. That event left over 50 million people in the United States and Canada and many from all other nations that were visitors to America in the dark for days. No TV or Radio for many. Many went without water to their second floor or beyond. Many had no running water at all. For the first time electronic banking stopped on the east coast of America. Many will never forget the telephones did not work. Most all transportation came to a halt no traffic lights, and gas stations no electric power to pump the gas
    pumps. The smell of sewage was everywhere in the inner cities. For the first time millions of Internet Users vanished off the internet till in January of 2011 in Egypt Government Censorship.
    Now except for a few smart ones that had a backup generator till there fuel ran out. Most of them only think the power would be out for a day or two 24 to 48 hours. A few had enough fuel for longer put not many. Hospitals and Shelters were the only lights on in all the cities up and down the east coast at night. They had Natural Gas Generators or Diesel with large storage tanks.
    Perhaps the only ones you can call really smart were the ones with a Solar Energy System their lights were a Lighthouse Beacon to all around. Their lights were on every night and the gate and garage door remotes still worked.
    Now being the director for safety many times in my life i would say the owners of the ones that had a Solar Energy System really did care for their family.

    There will be many more times the Power Grid will go down be safe not sorry.

    Renewable Energy is the way to go Wind, Hydro, Geothermal and others. Solar is clearly leading the way worldwide.

    All should look to install a Emergency Backup Power. SOLAR

    GOD Bless
    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott