Eight states in north India witnessed the decade's worst ever power crisis for more than 15 hours on Monday as the northern grid collapsed at 2.33am. Even the Capital stayed unplugged for 10 hours.
Apart from the National Capital Region, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir suffered blackouts that lasted till late Monday afternoon.
Union power minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who announced that a three-member committee would probe the grid failure and submit a report in a fortnight, said some states had been "greedy and overdrew power".
Major power failure in north India hit Delhi Metro services. (HT/Sunil Saxena)
In the Capital, even when the humid night ended, Delhites' woes had just begun - dry taps, wrinkled school uniforms, lifeless cellphones and unresponsive ATMs, to name a few.
In Delhi schools, attendance was low, while in offices people turned up late for work. For, the Metro was also hit. It started an hour late but even when it resumed at 9am, the service remained irregular.
The Delhi government later identified UP, Haryana and Punjab as the three states that caused the collapse by overdrawing power from the grid.
Experts, however, said unless "strict action" was taken against overdrawing power, grid collapses would happen again in future.
Shinde said, "We had started imposing penalties on the states that were overdrawing from the grid last year. We will have to take strict action so that the states maintain grid discipline."
Also, around 130 Northern Railway trains got affected.A caricature of the Union power minister!
"Some trains run by electricity, including a couple of Shatabdis. They remained stranded," said Niraj Sharma, CPRO, Northern Railways.
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