A major power outage in India affected about 670 million people on Tuesday, a day after huge grid failures first gripped Asia's third-largest economy, NDTV channel reported.
According to the media, half of India’s 1.2 billion people were left without electrical power after the country’s northern and eastern grids failed on Tuesday. The blackout followed chaos on Monday that left over 300 million people without electricity for eight hours straight in the worst power outage in a decade.
The power cuts caused disturbances in 20 out of 29 Indian states including the capital New Delhi where the metro, which carries almost 2 million passengers daily, has been disrupted, NDTV reported.
The incident also trapped hundreds of miners in a coal mine in the eastern state of West Bengal, the state’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters.
Over 500 trains, including 300 passenger cars holding 300,000 people, have come to a standstill in northern India. The New Delhi international airport has turned on power generators and backup systems and is completely functional, Indian media said.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a major Indian trade organization, said the country’s "entire power situation at present is headed for disaster," according to NDTV.
Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde says the northern, northeastern, and eastern grids collapsed after several states exceeded their allowed electricity consumption.
The problem was worsened by a weak monsoon season in India’s traditionally agricultural areas in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, where farmers have been forced to draw water from wells using electric pumps.
The outage is expected to be fully fixed no later than Wednesday, according to Indian media.