Edited by Shamik Ghosh | Updated: August 01, 2012 00:12 IST
By 11 pm, power had been restored to 80% of Northern India, and all of Delhi. Officials said that the country's southern and western grids are supplying power to help restore services.
During the blackout, emergency power was been given to VIP areas and emergency services like hospitals. Delhi needs 4500 MW of power a day, at one point today it was drawing only 40 MW.
Today's crisis was allegedly triggered after three states - Haryana, Punjab and UP - drew much more than their assigned share of power. "I have told states using more power than they are meant to stop it. They shall be punished," said Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Punjab and UP have denied they exceeded their limit. The Central Electricity Regulator Commission (CERC) has summoned officials from UP, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir to personally appear before the regulator on August 14.
The states hit today were: Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, J&K, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and the seven North Eastern states.
The Delhi metro stopped running for over an hour; passengers were seen walking on the tracks to reach the nearest platform. Others were stuck inside briefly till the trains were powered up and services were restored.
Traffic signals went on the blink in the capital and huge traffic jams were reported from across the city. Hospitals were left without power for a few hours; the airport, like yesterday, was not affected.
In West Bengal, 200 workers in four underground coal mines, who were trapped for hours after the elevators to bring them back up stopped working, were rescued late in the evening. 65 miners stuck in Jharkhand were also rescued after power supply was restored.
In Kolkata, the metro was not hit by the outage, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked all government offices to shut early, and urged the private sector and schools to do the same to protect against commuter chaos in the evening
When the grids collapsed, 300 long-distance electric trains were stalled - 100 in the Northern sector and about 200 in the Eastern and South Eastern sector. These included Shatabdis and Rajdhanis.
On the day it saw its worst power outage ever, the country also got a new Power Minister in Veerappa Moily, who said "There is no bad day to take over."
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