» 08/01/2012, 00.00
India power cut resolved but infrastructure is at risk
For two days, more than 600 million Indians left in the dark. 20 of 28 states affected. It is the largest power failure in recent years. According to analysts, is the fault lies in an outdated power grid and lack of investment in the sector.
Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The lights come back in India
today after two days of power outages that left than 600 million people in the
dark more. The
three power grids in the north, northeast and east of the country collapsed, affecting
20 of 28 states in the country. The
power outage threw small and big cities into chaos, causing traffic jams,
accidents, serious disruption to the rail network and subway transportation, in addition to the
daily problems related to lack of electricity in homes. In
West Bengal, more than 200 miners were trapped
underground, but thanks to emergency facilities were brought to safety. According
Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, the blackout was due to excessive energy demands
made by some states that exceeded the allowed quotas.
are common in Indian cities, due to a general lack of energy and obsolete electricity
the collapse of such a vast connection system is rare. According
to analysts, a similar blackout is the legacy of 60 years of under-investment
in the sector, which makes the third largest economy in Asia
one of the most backward countries in terms of the procurement and supply of
an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein
& Co. in Hong Kong, explains: "The immediate cause of a blackout
like this seems almost trivial: To keep the lights on, India needs to add power
capacity, build robust transmission and distribution systems, ensure fuel
supply and transport and reform power pricing. Most of that is expensive. To do
this, it needs capital. "
Singh, Indian prime minister, is aware of the need for new and better infrastructure,
and early June launched a 1000 billion dollars plan which promises new roads,
ports and highways within the next five years. Yet,
at present the situation shows no sign of
Coal India Ltd, the largest coal producer in the world, cannot meet national
demands. More than half of Indian energy production depends on the fossil fuel.
to the acute shortage of coal are the monsoon rains: being scarce, they are
affecting farmers and hydroelectric plants.
problem, however, is the cost. According
to Parker fact, the government must seek to reduce costs of production and
supply of energy, since almost 800 million Indians - more than half of the
total population - live on less than 2 dollars
In a snow-covered China, entire regions are without electricity and gas
The energy shortfall has reached 70 gigawatts, equal to the production of all of Great Britain. There is a shortage of coal because of the closure of many non-compliant mines and the imposition of price caps. The snow is blocking the roads and preventing fuel delivery. The cold is also impacting water and gas suppliers.
Exports collapsing, at least 10 million jobs at risk
In recent months, the country has suffered the effects of the global economic crisis to a much greater extent than predicted. Now there are questions about the consequences for the farming industry, and for the 220 million people already under the poverty level.
Snow emergency resembles SARS crisis of 2003
It is an unprecedented crisis. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao brings symbolic support to the millions of stranded travellers, while the state is asking all to "stand together". But it is now feared that critical power plants will be closed because of a coal shortage. The snow is expected to continue for days.
The way out of the crisis is neither Left nor Right
Stake-holders and decision-makers are failing to see that the crisis of 2008 is worst and more complex that the crisis of 1929. Solutions trumped so far benefit only the banks, but do not generate wealth. The US dollar could become junk paper.
Temperature hits 45 Celsius, with 224 deaths
The death toll hit 202 in Karachi. An additional 12 died 12 in Punjab. The poor and Muslims are the most affected. More than 150 bodies have been taken to the Edhi morgue, which usually receives about 20 bodies a day. Power outages have crippled the water supply system.
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