The dust that has settled on the Indian subcontinent’s airwaves after more than four years of intermittent power cuts has left the country’s electrical grid in tatters.
Power was shut off across the entire country on December 23, 2017, in what the Indian government described as a crisis caused by a “massive cyberattack” by the countrys biggest power utility.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have been accused of stalling the power cut by the power regulator in an attempt to appease business groups who say the government has not done enough to ensure grid reliability.
The blackout has caused a political headache for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has accused the BJP of politicising the crisis and trying to blame it on an “incompetent” state-owned power company.
“The government has taken steps to reduce the risk of the situation by taking decisive measures to protect the health and safety of the people,” India’s National Power Corporation said in a statement.
“In order to achieve this, the government initiated the deployment of more sophisticated control systems, including sophisticated systems to monitor, manage and respond to network faults.
The new control system has also been developed with the help of the National Centre of Emergency Management (NCEEM),” it added.
India’s electricity network has been crippled since mid-2014, when the power crisis struck.
In February 2017, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to take the power sector “to the cleaners”, after he ordered an investigation into the blackout.
The Indian government said it had made “a number of changes” to improve grid reliability, but a parliamentary inquiry has been set up by the government.
Modi has also promised to ensure that the country recovers from the power outage.
The prime minister, who has led the ruling BJP since 2013, has made the country one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with the country now estimated to be the biggest contributor to global growth.