More than 600 million people — 600 million! — have been affected by the power outages. That’s about two times the entire population of the United States. Imagine the chaos if our entire country were suddenly to lose power. Then, imagine that occurring in a smaller geographic region, where the density of people is much, much greater than is found here. Then, think of thousands of cars trying to navigate through crowds of hundreds of thousands of pedestrians without traffic lights, subways and trains that have stopped running, hospitals without power, and food spoiling in withering heat. Successfully imagine all that, and you still probably couldn’t grasp the current conditions in Delhi.
Interestingly, India has one of the lowest per capita rates of electricity usage in the world, and significant parts of the country are not wholly electrified. Even so, its power grid simply is not capable of supporting the growing demand.
It makes me appreciate our power grid in this country, where outages usually occur only after devastating storms and service is typically restored within hours. It also makes me wish that some of that stimulus money the federal government shelled out a few years ago had been spent on our power systems, rather than on unnecessary road improvements or other make-work, “shovel ready” projects.