Another blackout, this one worse
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For the second consecutive day, the country faced a major power crisis as three grids serving Northern, Eastern and North-Eastern states failed this afternoon.
As the grids collapsed at around 1 pm, many miners were reported to have been trapped in Jharkhand and West Bengal. Officials said rescue efforts were on.
Among the states that were affected were Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Assam, covering more than half of the country's population.
The Centre blamed overdrawal by states in the eastern region for today's grid collapse. The Northern Grid, which collapsed yesterday and was restored after 15 hours, again tripped today. The Eastern and North-Eastern transmission lines too failed this afternoon, worsening the power situation.
"Some sections are creating problems by overdrawing power," Power Grid CMD R N Nayak said. This is probably the first time that three grids have collapsed simultaneously.
When asked about the reason for the failure of grids, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said some states are drawing electricity over and above their limits. "This morning only, I was told (by officials) that about 3,000 MW extra power has been overdrawn from the Eastern Grid. We have given the direction to either stop it (overdrawal) or take action against them," he added.
The Railways network was among the worst hit services, as nearly 300 trains stopped midway. The authorities began restoring power to essential services at around 3 pm, after which many services including the Delhi Metro resumed operations. — with PTI