Following grid collapse: Indian bourgeoisie demands privatisation of power sector
After India’s north, eastern and northeastern electricity grids collapsed early last week, sections of big business are demanding reforms in the energy sector, like privatisation and subsidy cuts, while expressing concerns about the power outage’s impact on India’s “super power” ambitions.
The grid collapse cut power to almost 700 million people—more than half of the country’s population—for several hours, in 21 Indian states and Union territories including the national capital, New Delhi. It paralysed transport and critical workplaces, such as hospitals and mines.
Authorities have yet to give exact reasons for the blackout. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has appointed a three-member panel to investigate the grid collapse and offer recommendations.
Power Secretary P. Uma Shankar suggested that certain states might have been drawing more power than their allocated levels. If this is the case, it only reveals the utter inadequacy of power generation capacity to meet demand. This is all the more damning, as one third of India’s population still has no access to electricity at all.