Heat wave causes power cuts and violent protests in India

A heat wave across most parts of north and western India has led to electricity cuts, water shortages and even violent protests against power firms. Reports claim angry residents in […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A heat wave across most parts of north and western India has led to electricity cuts, water shortages and even violent protests against power firms.

Reports claim angry residents in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh set fire to a fire station and held power company employees hostage for several hours. The power cuts left people without air conditioning or fans and in some cases without water as electric pumps failed.

Home to around 190 million people, Uttar Pradesh is believed to be one of India’s most populous state and one of the poorest. It only has 8,000MW of electricity available against a demand of around 11,000MW, forcing authorities to schedule power cuts.

A neighbourhood in the capital city of Lucknow lost electricity for more than 50 hours, leading to people protesting outside the home of a local lawmaker, reports claim.

The lack of power supplies has failed to meet demand as temperatures peaked above 46°C. Western states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra also saw temperatures as high as 48°C, expected to continue throughout the week.

Earlier this year people also protested over energy price hikes and another was staged urging the Government to switch to renewables. Last year India also battled its worst ever electricity crisis, with a two-day blackout affecting more than 600 million people.