NYT Covers India’s Power (Electricity) Crisis

Whoa, our favorite paper New York Times has a front page story today (May 21, 2007) on India’s severe power shortages.

Writing for the Times, NYT’s South Asia bureau chief Somini Sengupta describes:

an electricity crisis that represents one of the major hurdles to India’s ability to hoist itself into the front ranks of the global economy.

The grim power scenario Somini Sengupta writes about in Gurgaon (located on the outskirts of Delhi) is true of most Indian cities.

Bangalore, Hyderabad and other so-called top Indian cities are reeling under a power crisis brought about by failure of successive state and central governments to invest in new power generation capacity.

There are no signs that India’s serious power shortages are going to disappear any time soon.

The government has promised electric connections for all — which means access to the grid, not round-the-clock power — by 2009. That is a target that does not seem plausible at current rates of power generation.

Power shortages means both businesses, hospitals and apartments are forced to rely on generators to keep things going. According to the Times story, Tata Consultancy Services maintains five generators, with a 5,300-gallon diesel fuel tank underground.

Look up at the tops of buildings, and on any given day, you are likely to find three, four or six smokestacks poking out of each, blowing gray-black plumes into the clouds. If the smokestacks are being used, it means the power is off and the building … is probably being powered by diesel-fed generators

To read the complete NYT story on India’s power crisis, click here.

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