On Monday, the northern India power grid could no longer take the heat and crashed. The crash halted hundreds of India’s trains, forced airports and hospitals to use their backup generators and left over 370 million people, more than Canada and the United States’ population combined, sweltering due to the summer heat.
This is the worst blackout India has faced in over a decade. It highlighted the inability the nation has to feed the ever-growing hunger the country has for energy while it strives to become an economic power in the region. A number of small businesses had to shut down early on Monday. Buildings did not have water since the pumps were not working to force the water to upper levels. Pre-dawn meals in Muslim families were eaten by candlelight before they began their Ramadan fast for daylight hours.
At about 2:30 am local time is when the northern grid crashed. It could no longer manage the huge demand the hot summer has created for power. However, Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Power Minister, said he did not know the reason for the collapse of the grid and had already put together a committee to have it investigated.
The northern grid feeds the breadbasket of the country in Punjab, the Kashmir region that is war-torn, the capital of New Delhi, the headquarters of Dalai Lama in Dharamsala along with the most populous state in the world, Uttar Pradesh a state mired in poverty.
Around late morning, about 60% power was back in eight of the northern states that had been affected by the blackout. By late in the afternoon, the rest of the power was expected to be restored. The grid was taking power from the western and eastern neighboring grids and getting some hydroelectric power via the small kingdom of Bhutan, in the neighboring mountains.