By Stella Paul, AlertNet:
When India was hit by huge power cuts at the end of July, the residents of Patragonda, a tribal village in the eastern state of Jharkhand, remained blissfully unaware.
The reason is simple – the village, nestled in a dense forest, has never been connected to the national grid. Instead it gets its electricity from the sun.
Barely 10 km away, the Jharkhand state capital, Ranchi, suffers frequent power cuts and low voltages. On July 30, the city of nearly 3 million people experienced one of its worst-ever blackouts when the eastern grid that supplies it collapsed.
Work was disrupted in offices, banks, colleges and other institutions. Children enjoyed an unexpected school holiday. At the local airport, all flights were cancelled, while trains came to a halt on the track. City hospitals, including the state’s largest, the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science, had to suspend their services.
Patragonda residents, meanwhile, went about their daily business… Read more