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2nd India Blackout Hits 600 Million, Power Riots in Pakistan

Today, 670 million people are without power in India, doubling the number affected by yesterday’s major blackout. Neighboring Pakistan is also having problems, the FT reports:

Ramadan usually offers a respite from power cuts in Pakistan, but this year people have taken to the streets to protest against having had no electricity for up to 20 hours a day in temperatures soaring into the 40Cs.

Angry mobs demonstrated in the northern cities of Peshawar and Jhelum at the weekend, while in another incident outside Lahore, protesters blocked one of the country’s main arteries for four hours until the police arrived.

In both cases, the core problems seem to stem from bad government policy.  Neither India nor Pakistan can reach its full potential until they master this basic problem — and both countries face serious political constraints that make the problem hard to solve.

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  • Jim.

    On the plus side, they’re not contributing to global warming this way.

  • Kenny

    Despite some thin veneer of modernity brought about by importation of Western technology and ideas, India is still a backward, Third World country.

    The surprise here is not that the electrical power went out for over 600 million people in India but that they even had power in the first place.

  • vanderleun

    “…. and both countries face serious political constraints that make the problem hard to solve.”

    Well, that’s sort of a toss off. Like, say, what for instance?

    I appreciate that with India and especially Pakistan there is no end to the list of “problems,” but what subset makes it a given that this sort of basic utility cannot be supplied on a dependable basis. Is it the style of government or do various bureaus within the government attract and retain especially stupid and ineffective people?

  • Anthony

    Precisely, what governmental shortcomings are being ascribed to both Pakistan and India via power grid delivery – are constraints sole political?

  • Atanu Maulik

    We may not be able to set records at the Olympics, but we can definitely create world records as far power outages are concerned. After 300 million people were plunged into darkness on Monday after India’s northern power grid collapsed, India bettered it’s own world record in less than 24 hrs as 600 million people were left without power on Tuesday as India’s eastern and north-eastern grids joined the northern one in tripping. Beat that China !

  • Brennan Kraxberger

    I heard one Indian analyst claim that the national grid had improved markedly over the last decade. That is likely true. Yet a blackout such as this is surely a public relations disaster for attracting investors. India does not have a system for tracking geographic demand for electricity, a key limitation that must be addressed.

  • Eurydice

    So, what does this do to the Asian Game of Thrones?

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