Blackout in India: How Many People Actually Have Power?

The blackout that India experienced 2 days ago took place across an area where some 680 million people live – almost 10% of the world’s population. The number of powerless Indians suffer with stranded trains, unresponsive ATMs, and dark traffic lights abounding, it's been an unprecedented disaster!

But it’s probably fair to say that tens of millions in that region may not actually have noticed they were experiencing the blackout that people across the globe were reading about.

Several news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, noted that according to the most recent Census data, a third of households in India still don’t have electricity. In India, though, where some of the country’s least developed states are located, the percentage of households without power is substantially higher.

Although the area that experienced the blackout includes some of India’s largest states, like Uttar Pradesh with nearly 200 million people, and Bihar, with almost 100 million residents, there are also some of the areas where people have the least access to electricity. Only 36.8% of households in UP and 16.4% of households in Bihar say they have electricity.

By contrast, southern Indian states across the board provide a much larger share of their citizens with electricity — in every single one of these states access to electricity is above 90%. The lowest figure in the south is for Karnataka, where 90.6% of the state’s more than 100 million people have electricity.

Across the northern and eastern regions of India, only about 323 million people –-– experienced "the blackout". For the rest, it was darkness as usual (metaphorically speaking, of course, since the blackout began at lunchtime).

So much for “Power for All” by 2012, a target formally announced by India’s power ministry in 2003.

Mugdha Says: India has vast rural populations that have limited access to electricity. The Solar Mission is needed which can provide more reliable sources of power to those citizens who didn't know the meaning of illuminated nights... while reducing energy cost, decreasing reliance on coal, and ameliorating the consequences of India’s economic growth in better environmental aspect as well.


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