India returns to work after blackout crisis

Factories and workshops across India were up and running yesterday, a day after a major system collapse led to a second day of power outages and the worst blackout in history.

About 620 million people were left without electricity after India’s northern, eastern and north-eastern grids failed on Tuesday afternoon.

It was the second massive outage in as many days, coming just after the country had recovered from Monday’s failure of the northern grid, which left 370 million people powerless.

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Electricity workers struggled throughout Tuesday to return power to the 20 affected states, restoring most of the system in the hours after the crash.

Power minister Veerappa Moily said power had been fully restored across the country by yesterday morning.

Mr Moily, who took over the top power position on Tuesday, said an investigation into the crisis had been launched.

The Confederation of Indian Industry said the two outages cost business hundreds of millions of pounds, though they did not affect the financial centre of Mumbai and the global outsourcing powerhouses of Bangalore and Hyderabad in the south.