NEW DELHI: The chairman of India's power grid company said Tuesday that electricity supplies would be restored in the next few hours after a massive outage that affected half of the country.
"We are working hard. I am confident that by 7:00 pm (1330 GMT) we would have plugged the problem," the chairman of the Power Grid Corporation of India, R. N. Nayak, told reporters at a late afternoon press conference.
"Our message to people is 'they are in safe hands, we have been in the job for years'," he added.
A massive power failure hit India for the second day running Tuesday at around 1:00 pm as three regional power grids collapsed, blacking out more than half the country in a crisis affecting over 600 million people.
Hundreds of miners were trapped underground in the eastern state of West Bengal when lifts failed, metro services were stopped temporarily in the capital New Delhi and hundreds of trains were held up nationwide.
Power was gradually flickering back on in some areas several hours after the crisis struck.
While the exact cause behind the outage is yet to be determined, Nayak said the blackout happened "due to interconnection of grids" and said engineers would investigate the collapse.
"We have to see why there was a sudden increase in load... We will make sure that such a situation is not repeated."
In total, 20 out of 29 states were affected on Tuesday. (AFP)