Can you imagine a power outage affecting 370 million people, more than the population of the United States and Canada combined??!?!? Power outages are business as usual in this fast growing nation. The impact of any outage is somewhat softened by Indians’ familiarity with almost daily blackouts of varying duration.
However Mondays outage was big – the biggest in a decade. Northern India’s power grid failure halted trains, forced hospitals and airports onto backup power and provided a dark reminder of the nation’s inability to feed a growing hunger for energy as it strives to become an economic power.
Hospitals and major businesses have backup generators that seamlessly kick in during power cuts, and upscale homes are hooked to backup systems powered by truck batteries. Nonetheless, some small businesses were forced to shut for the day. Buildings were without water because the pumps weren’t working, and the vaunted New Delhi Metro, with 1.8 million daily riders, was paralyzed during the busy morning commute.
The cause remains unknown at this time and only 40% of the power has been restored as of the time of this writing.