Soutik Biswas at the BBC has some interesting facts about India’s power consumption:
- Despite its soaring energy needs, India has one of the lowest per capita rates of consumption of power in the world,734 units, as compared to a world average of 2,429 units. This is nothing compared with say, Canada, (18,347 units) and the US (13,647 units). China’s per capita consumption (2,456 units) is more than three times that of India.
- The low per capita consumption is despite the fact that the power sector has been growing at more than 7% every year.
- Other interesting points Biswas makes: India’s electricity is mostly derived from coal, with about a fifth from hydro-elecric power; the main problems are massive subsidies to rich farmers, pervasive theft, and failures in transmissions and distribution; there is no shortage of money (this contradicts the usual mythology).
- The most telling statistic: At the time of Independence, about 60% of India’s power sector was privately owned. Today, about 80% of the installed capacity is in the hands of the government
Update: I should point out how calm most of India looks in the pictures of the outage. There seems to be more panic in the Western media.
I can only imagine what would happen here if the entire population of the US (double that, actually) was plunged into darkness.
Part of the reason is that Indians are used to this sort of thing.
Rolling electricity cuts are common. In Tamil Nadu where a huge number of multinationals have relocated and heavily tax the system, there are current cuts practically every day, from anywhere between 4 hours and 12.
Usually, customers get notice and have time to arrange their day around the cut. But still, in temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius, it can be dangerous to have go without a fan, let alone an air conditioner, especially for older people, like my parents.
But, there hasn’t been a major power failure like this since 2001.
Causes of the current shortages include massive subsidies to farmers, pervasive current theft, and price controls. However, for private industry to come in and suddenly take over would also have terrible immediate effects. The smart thing would be to improve the existing infrastructure, remove the subsidies, and crack down on theft.
Update: The AtlanticCities.com explains why it took longer to restore power in DC than in India.
“That’s 10 days for less than half a million people [in DC] compared to about 6 hours for most of the power to be restored to the roughly 350 million affected by the outage Monday, or compared to the 6 hours it’s taken Tuesday to restore power to 75 percent of the more than 670 million people affected by this latest outage. The Times of India notes that the last major outage – in 2001, affecting a region home to 230 million people – was resolved in 16 hours.”
Update:: A piece in Zdnet in June 2012 describes a new Indian security initiative that involved allowing some government agencies to carry out cyber attacks, apparently as a preemptive move. So, the Indian government had been anticipating a cyber attack and even planning one, if necessary. Curious.
India is taking steps to protect its cyberinfrastructure by designating relevant government agencies to carry out offensive cyberattacks on other countries when necessary.
The country’s National Security Council (NSC) will soon approve the “comprehensive” plan and designate the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) to carry out offensive cyber-operations if needed, sources told The Times of India in a report Monday. All other intelligence agencies will be authorized to carry out intelligence gathering abroad, but not offensive operations.
Update: A piece in the Telegraph of July 30 (the first day when the NE grid was down) quotes a businessman saying it felt like a cyberattack:
There is no way India can become an economic world power with such outages that leave a third of the country paralysed” businessman Virender Kapoor said. Its almost as if somebody had launched a crippling cyber attack on its power grid, he declared.
Update: An article in Economic Times, (India) July 19, 2012, reported a warning by McAfee (a computer security firm) that electric grids are easy to attack and can have a major impact. So, two weeks before a historic power outage occurs, a mainstream outlet runs a warning about a massive outage occurring, helpfully spelling out the details and warning that air defense systems could also be at risk?
“If a rogue state, terrorist, or malcontent wanted to debilitate a major city or even an entire country, how could it make a widespread, immediate, and lasting impact? Quite simply, by striking at the facilities that produce and distribute the electrical power that everything else depends on!
“Anything from the lights and appliances in your home to heart monitors in hospitals to air defense systems-anything could be compromised by a single, targeted attack on the energy grid. Only today, the weapon of choice is not a rocket launcher, but rather, malicious software code-malware that is skillfully designed to destroy, disrupt, or take control of the complex systems on which the grid runs,” Tom Moore, vice president, Embedded Security at McAfee said.
What’s more, it is modernization that has made the cyberthreat worse. The old systems were not sufficiently interconnected to make them that vulnerable. The new systems, the Smart Grids, like Smart phones, are actually far more vulnerable to attack because they contain programs and embedded information that trojans or viruses can attack. Often, when modernizing, security and encryption are after thoughts…or might be just too expensive to consider.
“Moving systems from a manual process to one that is internet connected gave energy grid operators real-time info and allowed administrators to telecommute and field workers to re-program systems from remote locations through their smartphones however this also opened all their systems to the outside world.”
From what I can tell, India is trying to upgrade to smart grids.
That could make the system even more vulnerable, although it might help the single biggest problem after the aging infrastructure – the theft of electricity.
Update: Here’s another clue, in Rothschild-owned Reuters:
Stretching from Assam, near China, to the Himalayas and the northwestern deserts of Rajasthan, the outage was the worst to hit India in more than a decade and embarrassed the government, which has failed to build up enough power capacity to meet soaring demand.
If you have been following the Rothschild media for any length of time, a piece like this immediately gives the game away. Who thinks about the embarrassment of a government when hundreds of millions of people in the tropics have to go without electricity?
Most normal people are stunned or saddened, because they’re thinking of the people.
If the government actually is behind the failure in some way, it’s not an embarrassment, it’s criminal. And if the government’s not, then it’s an attack of some kind, in which case, it’s either criminal or some kind of state or non-state terrorism.
But embarrassment is the kind of thing only someone conducting a psyops would impute.
Update: Another clue that there is something fishy going on is that this occurred during the monsoon
season, when the demand on electric power-grids is lower than at other times. Correction: I read now that the monsoon was weaker than usual so there was an increase in electric usage to draw on well water:
The problem has been made worse by a weak monsoon in agricultural states such as wheat-belt Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in the Ganges plain, which has a larger population than Brazil.
With less rain to irrigate crops, more farmers resort to electric pumps to draw water from wells.
Also highly relevant to the blackout is the controversy over nuclear energy. While some people want to supplement the overloaded electric grid (overloaded because of economic growth), with nuclear power, others are understandably concerned about the potential for accidents in such a highly populated region of the world. That has led to rioting and protests against nuclear plants, like the one in Kudankulam Tamil Nadu, where usage of electricity is particularly heavy. A collapse of the electricity grid is an excellent way to force the issue and also strike a major blow to the country.
Update: I found some confirmation for my suspicions in comments made by executives responding to the crisis:
The failure happened without warning just after 1 p.m., electric company officials said.
“We seem to have plunged into another power failure, and the reasons why are not at all clear,” said Gopal K. Saxena, the chief executive of BSES, an electric company that services South Delhi, in a telephone interview. It may take a long time to restore power to north India, he said, because the eastern grid has also failed, and alternate power sources in Bhutan and the Indian state of Sikkim flow into the east first.
About two hours after the grid failure, power ministry authorities said some alternate arrangements had been made. “We are taking hydro power from Bhakhra Nangal Dam,” in northern India, said Sushil Kumar Shinde, the power minister, in a televised interview.”
I also found a statement contradicting claims that the outage was caused by an overdraw from state governments::
“No official reason for the Monday’s failure has been given, although some local news reports pointed fingers at state governments which were overdrawing power.
That assessment is too simplistic, Mr. Saxena, of BSES, said. There are controls in place on India’s electricity grids that override an outsized power demand. “We have one of the most robust, smart grids operating” in the world, he said. It would “not be wise” to give an assessment of what happened at this time, he added.”
Update: (July 31, 4:19PM) A couple of Pakistani websites are claiming that this was a Pakistani-Chinese cyberattack and that the Indian media has been told not to report on it.
This sounds pretty flimsy to me.
Even under Emergency in Mrs. Gandhi’s time there was no way to keep the press quiet. But I’ll be on the look out. The timing of this, following the mysterious rioting in the strategic NE, is suspicious.
Update : I was finally able to get through to family members, who tell me that the power failure mostly affects the north. So, again, there is some hype about the situation. I’ll be adding info as I find it.
The massive failure – a day after a similar, but smaller power failure – has raised serious concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and the government’s inability to meet its huge appetite for energy as the country aspires to become a regional economic superpower.
LR: The elites have been demanding that the government make it easier to invest in India’s infrastructure (public utilities), which they claim hasn’t been opened up at the speed at which they want:
Rothschild-affiliated Lakshmi Mittal on April 30, 2012
“India still has a tremendous potential to grow, but the slow progress in the infrastructure sector was proving to be an impediment, said Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of steel giant ArcelorMittal. He was in Bhatinda, Punjab in India recently where his company has set up Hindustan Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), a joint venture between state-run Hindustan Petroleum and Mittal Energy.
“Indian condemning millions to stay poor, Lakshmi Narayan Mittal says,” PTI, Times of India, June 20, 2012.
PM Manmohan Singh has responded that some of the problems have arisen because of Eurozone problems (where India has loaned money toward the bailout of European bankers) and also because of vehement press criticism of crony-capitalism that has made government officials extremely wary of doing anything. “Bollygarchs At Bay,” Investor’s Fresh New, July 31, 2012.
“Many foreign businesses have fallen foul of India’s tricky regulatory system but analysts note that it is domestic companies in sectors dependent on regulation that seem to be struggling more than most. Those with weaker links to government, such as consumer goods or pharmaceuticals, are proving more resilient.
A stark example is provided by Ambit Capital, a Mumbai-based broker. Its “politically connected companies” index ranks 75 big Indian businesses with either “strong connectivity to the political establishment” or fortunes that rely on state licences. For most of the past five years, they outperformed the 500 leading shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The pattern flipped last year, a trend that seems to be growing.”
This is being called the largest black-out ever, affecting over 600 million people. (Hype?)
Power Fails Again in India, Wall Street Journal:
(I will add links to support my argument when I have time, so bear with me….)
“A massive power failure hit India’s north, east and northeast regions Tuesday, forcing offices and factories to shift to emergency generators and raising more questions about the state of infrastructure in Asia’s third-largest economy.
A commuter walked past an information board at a
The blackout was even more wide-reaching and severe than the power failure that plunged several states in northern India into darkness Monday.
Some 20 of India’s 28 states were affected Tuesday, and as many as 600 million people – half of India’s population – reportedly impacted. Monday’s blackout, which was caused by a failure of the northern grid, affected eight states with a total population of around 370 million.
Tuesday’s power outage was caused by the failure of the power supply networks in the north, east and northeast regions at 0730 GMT, according to the National Load Dispatch Center, a unit of Power Grid Corpof India Ltd. It added that work is on to restore the grid.
A commuter walked past an information board at a train station in New Delhi, Monday.
Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said that efforts are being taken to resume supply as soon as possible, especially to essential services.
The electricity failure resulted in a widespread breakdown of transport and other services. A spokesman for the Northern Railways and Eastern Railways said about 200 trains were stopped in their tracks.
Metro rail services in New Delhi and its suburbs were halted as well, a spokesman for the Delhi Metro Rail Corp. said.
At Delhi’s international airport, diesel generators were switched on quickly to ensure services were not interrupted.
Arup Roy Choudhury, chairman of NTPC Ltd., India’s largest power generator by capacity, said the company’s coal-based power plants have stopped operating.
“We are expediting [the process of restarting the plants and will supply] first to the railways within the next one hour,” Mr. Choudhury said.
The government has already announced the appointment of a three-member panel to study the causes of Monday’s power failure. The committee will submit its report in 15 days’ time.
There is a strong suspicion in my mind that this is sabotage at some level.
I have been compiling growing evidence of low-grade psychological warfare directed against India in the Western media: – The Time cover of Manmohan Singh as an underachiever, the barrage of misleading information about the Rajat Gupta trial, the publication of highly tendentious biographies of canonical Indian figures and Hindu leaders, accompanied by inflammatory and mendacious press articles, coupled with attacks in India by secular authorities (in bed with Western elites) against Hinduism and on Hindu temples, where vast amounts of gold still exist.
Second. In “Breaking India,” Rajiv Malhotra has described in detail how western-funded NGOs are encouraging secessionist activity.
The US state dept has made a U-turn and gone from condemning the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist movement to now supporting them as victims of Sri Lankan genocide.
(Bruce Fein’s career shows this about turn). Western elites are behind the foundation-funded Afro-Dalit movement, which aims to control the south of India, by westernizing it and breaking it off from the north.
The south includes the highly industrialized Tamil Nadu state, Andhra, the relatively wealthy Kerala region, as well as the Poona-Mumbai region, and it has not been affected.
The majority of Western corporations are located here.
Earlier this year, there were reports that a part of RAW (Indian intel) had fallen out with the Mossad. This followed on the Indian government’s commencement of barter and non-dollar trade with Iran, a move sure to discomfit the US government.
According to reporter Wayne Madsen, Indian intelligence has been cracking down on Mossad. (There is a division in RAW between those who want to stand firm against the globalist cabal, and those who want to be on the winning team).
There was a recent attack on an Indian fishing boat by a US naval vessel, leading to fatalities; in early July this year, there was a cyberattack on India’s naval HQ in Vizag, from which sensitive information was stolen apparently by hackers with Chinese IP addresses.
In the last few days before the outages, there were accounts of serious rioting/attacks against Muslims by Christian and Hindu tribes in the NE (near China and Burma). Around a hundred were killed and thousands were displaced.
There is extensive Mossad/CIA activity in the NE area (near Burma) and in India as a whole, relating to the drug-trade that is now finding an HQ in Kochi in Kerala (where there is an ancient Jewish community, supposedly dating to the time of King Solomon) and in Mumbai, where there are numbers of Chabad houses through which the drug-money is laundered and where spies and saboteurs find refuge.
Mossad and CIA have admitted being behind the creation of the Stuxnet virus and were behind David Headley, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai bombing. Some allege that parts of Indian intelligence colluded with CIA and Mossad.
India was a minor victim of that virus when it first raised its head a couple of years ago.
[Check out my blog posts on Stuxnet. I was one of the earliest bloggers to even follow the story and to allege it was an Israeli operation, not due to any so-called anti-Semitism on my part, but because I am aware that Israel leads the world in this area of technology.
Ditto with the Headley story, which was blogged here as well. ]
The NE region is the area in which the electricity grid collapse began. Burma has recently been opened up and there has been some talk about Jewish republics being created there.
One such group is the Bnai Menashe in the NE part of India:
“Hillel Halkin, a well-known writer and translator who has lived in Israel for three decades, has written a fascinating new book out about his growing interest and belief in the Bnai Menashe, a group of some 5,000 people in a remote corner of northeastern India who live as observant Jews, claiming a link to the biblical tribe of Menashe. The book, Across The Sabbath River: In Search of a Lost Tribe of Israel, describes how Halkin’s skepticism was reversed after visiting the community, which began in the 1970s and has been guided for the last two decades by Eliahu Avichail, an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem. Over the years he has helped some 600 of the Bnai Menashe settle in Israel, where they underwent formal conversion. Another 100 arrived last month and more of their brethren would like to join them.
Michael Freund is a former New Yorker living in Jerusalem who has come to espouse the cause of the Bnai Menashe. A Modern Orthodox Jew who served as deputy director of communications and policy planning in the Prime Minister’s office under Benjamin Netanyahu, Freund, after visiting the community, has agreed to succeed Rabbi Avichail as head of Amishav, the organization championing the Bnai Menashe.
He believes that groups like the Bnai Menashe and the descendants of the Marranos “constitute a large, untapped demographic and spiritual reservoir for Israel and the Jewish people.” And while Freund opposes outright proselytization, citing traditional Judaism’s hesitancy about such an approach, he says that since groups like the Bnai Menashe have taken “the first step in our direction, it is time that we reach out and help them as they undergo the process of returning to the Jewish people.
The NE area is strategically-positioned between China and India, and has been the site of considerable secessionist activity over the last decade.
In 2009, two researchers claimed that a second Israeli state was emerging in India: “Second Israeli state emerging in India: “New Jersualem” movement eyes take over of three eastern states, near center of opium production,” John Kaminski and Arun Shrivastava, August 19, 2009
:A second “nation” of Israel today is nearing completion smack dab in the middle of the world’s premier drug producing region, the Golden Triangle of Burma — located right on the border between India and the military dictatorship now known as Myanmar, which is the real model of the human future.
Activities presaging the creation of a second Israeli state are well-known in India, but not elsewhere. Most everyone remembers how the first Israel popped onto the world scene in 1948 and has continued mass murdering its neighbors and hapless nations that fall under its sway ever since.
Precisely, political stealth moves over the last three decades and an aggressive outreach effort by “rabbis from Israel” to convert inhabitants of the three easternmost provinces of India to Judaism have been reported for years by Indian patriots in the Himalayan foothills who seek to return their country to its much longed for pre-British liberty.
The Deccan Chronicle, a newspaper in Hyderabad, reported that by means of “a ritual bath,” rabbis promise penniless Christian, Muslim and pagan converts a trip to Israel and preferred employment status, then buy votes of peasants, take over local boards and pass laws to legalize their manipulations, the same way they do everywhere else.
While the core issue in this geopolitical expansion of Rothschild-Rockefeller money empire that controls the world is proximity to the centuries old center of opium production run by the generals in Myanmar, the creation of a new Israeli state in the exact center of China, India and Southeast Asia augurs badly for the peoples of the region, as the current level of destabilization among Israel’s neighbors in the Middle East clearly illustrates.
And not to be forgotten is that the world’s oldest still functioning oil field is located in this area and Tripura state is reported to be floating on a sea of natural gas.”
The left and many non-governmental human rights group claim that the trouble in the NE is simply indigenous rebellion against multinational land-grabbing and government abuse of those who protest .
(The area is rich in minerals).
The right and the government claim that this is Naxalite-Maoist provocation, using the cover of trade-unions.
“There is enough documented information which reveals that trade unions are the new hunting grounds of Maoists. If we get good evidence that there was indeed a Maoist link to the Maruti violence, then we would invoke the anti-terror law,” a senior IB official told ET on condition of anonymity. The official says intelligence agencies suspect the attack on the Maruti plant was “premeditated” and believe that the union leaders could have links to top Maoist leaders. He cautioned it was early to reach any conclusion.
Former home secretary GK Pillai told ET: “The government has had information that Naxals have been trying to infiltrate labour organisations in urban areas for a while now. That information was passed on to states, and in some places action was taken.”
In recent days, there have been reports of violent rioting in the NE and the displacement of thousands of people.
Here is a report from France24
“”This time, it seems the violence was set off after a Muslim youth group in the district of Kokrajhar called for a strike to protest the removal of a signboard at a local mosque. This was followed by a series of drive-by killings, before large-scale rioting broke out on July 19. Roving bands of armed men – reportedly from both sides of the conflict – torched hundreds of houses, leaving both Bodos and Muslims homeless.
The indigenous Bodos represent just 10 percent of the population of Assam state. Since the early 1970s, the state has seen a steady influx of immigrants from Bangladesh.
The rising number of Muslim immigrants has been cause for worry among Bodos, who are afraid that this could thwart their hopes of establishing an independent state.
[Hindu nationalists see this immigration as a kind of infiltration and subversion of the country.]
And most significantly, no one seems to be able to say what set off the rioting.
“No one can explain how the violence started. They tell me they usually have good relations with the Bodo people. Muslims have lived in Bodo areas for a very long time – some even speak Bodo. Though this is not the first time Muslims and Bodos have clashed, the violence still seems to have taken them by surprise.”
Now comes the report of the grid being hit in the north (Monday) and spreading to most of the rest of the country (Tuesday)
There is not doubt in my mind that this is sabotage.
Naturally, the Trojan horse Anna Hazare group (blessed by Wikileaks and heavily supported by Western NGOs of the “color revolution” variety) claims that the outage is an Indian government conspiracy.
That conspiracy theory covers the first few pages of Google already, very conveniently.
Just now, I noticed several sites referring to “Bhagat Singh” and praising revolution in India. Here is one identifying itself as Naxalite and asking Indians to join the revolution. It looks like some kind of intelligence-created OPTOR! style site to me.
If the grid got hit only yesterday, how is it that Anna Hazare has so quickly come up with this theory and Google has already taken it up so fast? This means that any other interpretation of events – for eg. that it is likely orchestrated by the Western elites – is unable to get a hearing.
I know that when I posted my Goldman articles on LRC in 2008, they were rarely linked or passed around. A couple of them in fact landed up on sites like “Assassinated Press.” But any rumor passed on by NGO-backed journalists gets read over international radio, passed around in a flash, and rises to the top of Google searches. [As soon as I said this, of course, this post rises in Google!]
In fact, whenever I post a controversial piece like this one, I notice my home page on Google searches doesn’t change. I also notice an increase in spam and evidence of browser hijacking.
This is a pattern I’ve seen over and over.
I think there is a fair possibility that some parts of the Indian government (those colluding with outside interests, whether left-communist or right-corporatist) might be involved in the sabotage, but there is no doubt in my mind that the puppet-masters are Western elites.
The attack might be part of the show of strength necessary to collapse the government or force its hand.
[Added: I also wonder if it could be a kind of “war-gaming” by parts of the government for its own ends? ]
Anna Hazare’s grandstanding over the grid failure is also getting the headlines. This is the same way in which the Anna movement got off the ground in the first place, at lightning speed, overtaking the indigenous resistance movement. Anna Hazare, like OccupyWallStreet, has the blessings of the western elites.
The elites need to break up India so as to have its constituent parts under control.
The idea is to stir up the Indian masses and to show the Indian government that it is the elites who are really in charge. Thus, Lakshmi Mittal (who is hand-in-glove with the Rothschilds) delivered an ultimatum to the Indian government recently, to “grow” or else.
Ninth (and the most controversial and speculative).
There were two massive earthquakes in Indonesia earlier this year (once was 8.9), of a magnitude that should have set off tsunamis that would have been in the direction of India.
In fact, there were tsunami warnings, but nothing came of it. The earthquakes took place off the Aceh province, which is just where the 2004 Asian tsunami had its origin. Had there been a similar tsunami from the earthquakes this year, it would have hit the Kudankulam nuclear plant which is at the tip of the peninsula, right on the Indian ocean. It would have been Fukushiima all over.
“More than 1 million people live within the 30 km radius of the KKNPP which far exceeds the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) stipulations. It is quite impossible to evacuate this many people quickly and efficiently in case of a nuclear disaster at Koodankulam.”
The 2004 tsunami, which killed over 250,000 people hit, India and Sri Lanka. I speculated then that it might have been caused by underwater nuclear testing in the Indian ocean. Coincidentally, the southern half of Iran has been struck by a massive drought (as have the grain-belt (heartland region) of the US and three quarters of Mexico) this past year.
I was unable to get through on the phone to India when I tried.
“”Wikileaks takes credit for Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign,” MSN, April 20, 2011