Aug 2, 2012

Current Cut! [215/365]

So it finally happened.

Over half a billion Indians went powerless for two days. And we are not even referring to the normal scheduled current cuts that the underprivileged enjoy.
Almost all of the North, east and the NE went into the dark when power lines tripped. This made headlines globally.

Depending on who you spoke to, the outage that affected the rich and poor and everyone in between came to symbolize all that was wrong with the UPA administration. And the witch-hunt began. The head of the state power administration at the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was sacked and the central power minister got a promotion. What led to the world largest power outage, in terms of duration and population affected, cannot be a mere 'trip'. Surely, there could be a larger picture of how the nations utilities are managed by a group of people whose motives are anything but patriotic. (Read a comprehensive report on this crisis here)

What fails to make any sense is why the government would decide to promote it's minister?
Indian democracy works in mysterious ways. I am waiting to see how Sushil Shinde's replacement is going to grapple with the legacy (s)he is going to inherit.
I am reminded of the one time when Kuwait had a power outage back in the '80s. Though the outage lasted for under an hour, the Shaikh fired the then power minister and promised his citizens that it would never happen again. It never did.

While nature lovers and tree-huggers will tell you that cutting down all those trees will eventually put you into the dark, what our nation will need to do right now is to plan for the long term.
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