The power deficit was worsened by a weak monsoon that lowered hydroelectric generation and kept temperatures higher, further increasing electricity usage as people sought to cool off.
After Monday's power outage that hit 300 million people, Tuesday delivered a blackout twice as severe -600 million people in 19 states were left without any power for hours, after three major supply grids tripped more or less simultaneously.
Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde admitted that the crisis was caused by states who grabbed more power than they are meant to. Four states today over-drew their quota: Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The Central Electricity Regulator Commission (CERC), which serves as the power monitor and regulator, has summoned the chief engineer of the UP Power Corporation on July 14 to explain its repeated over-drawing of power from the northern grid. States including Haryana and Punjab have been warned that violation of quotas will be taken seriously and that any state that jeopardizes the safety of a grid could find itself disconnected.
After of the hottest summers in recent years, the North has seen a weak monsoon, which has meant lower hydroelectric generation of power than expected. In states like UP, Punjab and Haryana, farmers have resorted to using water pumps, drawing more power than usual.
UP's role is considered suspect because when Mayawati was in power, her government arranged additional power supply from Chattisgarh, Gujarat and the Western grid. This meant that the Northern grid - which crashed yesterday and today- was not over-burdened.
But this year, the new Akhilesh Yadav government in the state has organized no parallel power supply. Today, UP over-drew its quota from the Northern Grid by 1200 MWs - nearly a third of what a city like Delhi is entitled to in a day.