© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Indignant In India: Blackouts Have Millions 'Fuming'

Plenty of wires. But where's the juice? This electric pole in Kolkata is typical of many in heavily populated India.
Dibyangshu Sarkar
AFP/Getty Images
Plenty of wires. But where's the juice? This electric pole in Kolkata is typical of many in heavily populated India.

"Powerless and Clueless" was today's top headline on the Times of India's front page.

India's Economic Times went with "Superpower India, RIP."

The Hindustan Times says two straight days of massive blackouts paint "a dismaying picture [for] a country striving for a bigger role on the global stage."

While officials say the power is back on after outages that left about 370 million Indians without electricity for much of Monday and an astounding 670 million or so in the dark for much of Tuesday, the power grid failures have the news media and millions of people in India "fuming," as the BBC says.

And the sometimes farcical sounding news continues. According to the Times of India:

"New power minister Veerappa Moily, who was appointed to the post in a Cabinet reshuffle even as Tuesday's unprecedented crisis was still playing out, admitted he faced an enormous task in restoring public confidence.

" 'It is a very difficult and challenging situation, and solutions will have to be found,' Moily said in a series of interviews with Indian television networks, one of which was interrupted by a blackout." [We added the bold for emphasis.]

Our colleague Scott Neuman writes this morning that "it might be too early to say what the exact cause of India's latest massive power outage is, but in its simplest form, it probably has something to do with supply and demand –- not enough of the former and too much of the latter."

Indian officials are blaming the blackouts on "energy-hungry states guzzling more than their allotted power" and crashing the grid, the Hindustan Times writes.

One more thing about the outages: Not only have they been the largest ever, at one point on Tuesday about 10 percent of the world's total population was affected.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.