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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Remembering the power outage last year and Minister gaffes....

Politicians – their gaffe – speaking without knowing the subject and their intemperate remarks – all nothing to new Indian politics – yet Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh stoked a fresh controversy in Madhya Pradesh, calling fellow MP Ms. Meenakshi Natarajan a ‘100% tunch maal’. The words translated in Bhojpuri mean, "desireable" or sexy woman".  According to Zee, while addressing a gathering in Mandsaur, Digvijay Singh said, “She is your Member of Parliament. She is a Gandhian, she is simple and honest...she goes to everybody, from village to village. I have 40-42 years of experience (in politics) and I am an old connoisseur...politicians come to understand things even with little hint as to who is genuine and who is a fraud. She is 100% tunch maal and fights for the poor.” …….. that died down …..

Last year he was the Power Minister and in response to criticism, Sushil Kumar Shinde observed that India was not alone in suffering major power outages, as blackouts had also occurred in the United States and Brazil within the previous few years. The event was described in Washington Post  as a big  failure as adding urgency to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's plan for a US$400 billion overhaul of India's power grid.

Before that why the Nation is not appreciating BCCI for its speed and efficiency ~ the two-member panel that investigated the allegations of betting and spot-fixing against Raj Kundra and Chennai Super Kings turned out to be much faster than the Mumbai and Delhi Police. The report was signed, sealed and delivered to BCCI  disciplinary committee even before the Delhi police could file a chargesheet. In a country where legal proceedings and disputes can drag out for years – this sort of urgency is commendable.
That is the  in-house exoneration  formula and now ‘all is well’ in cash rich BCCI.  – wrongly the Mumbai Police had arrested Gurunath Meiyappan; stranger still is the demand that Mumbai Police send an officer to depose before the BCCI. As BCCI has done the house cleaning there is no further need for any police action at all….  Indian cricket fans  are buoyed by the recent wins in Tri Series, Champions Trophy and the Series win at Zimbabwe

Last year on this day – 30th July there was the ‘black out’ -  the largest power outage in history, occurring as two separate events on 30 and 31 July 2012. The outage affected over 620 million people, about 9% of the world population, or half of India's population, spread across 22 states in Northern, Eastern, and Northeast India. An estimated 32 gigawatts of generating capacity was taken offline in the outage.An article in The Wall Street Journal stated that of the affected population, 320 million initially had power, while the rest of the affected population lacked direct access. Electrical power was restored in the affected locations between 31 July and 1 August 2012.

With the collapse of the Northern power grid, more than 300 million people, about 25% of India's population, were without power. Railways and some airports were shut down until 08:00. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), not normally mandated to investigate blackouts, began to do so because of the threat to basic infrastructure facilities like railways, metro rail system, lifts in multi-storey buildings, and movement of vehicular traffic. On the day of the collapse, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde ordered a three-member panel to determine the reason for the failure and report on it in fifteen days.  On a different note, Team Anna, the supporters of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, charged that this grid failure was a conspiracy to suppress the indefinite fast movement started on 25 July 2012 for the Jan Lokpal Bill and targeting Sharad Pawar.  

~ another Union Minister exhibited his power of the art of magical thinking, stating that  he’s sceptical the Indian Mujahideen exists, because “nobody knows what it is, where it was formed, and who runs it”. “only a short while ago, we heard that it was the creation as aftermath of Guj riots…. There has been a spate of killing of Hindu National outfit leaders in Tamilnadu ~ which group did is not of primary concern – finding out the culprits and preventing recurrence is……

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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