Delhi heat wave prompts emergency measures

2014-06-09 14:50
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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New Delhi - Delhi's government is cutting power to shopping malls, switching off street lights and turning off air conditioning in government offices, after the highest temperatures in 62 years forced the city to take emergency measures to conserve power.

Power consumption in the capital surged to a record high on Saturday, overwhelming distribution systems and sparking outages in parts of the city that angered residents left sweltering in heat as high as 47.8°C.

Damage to some transmission lines during a recent thunderstorm added to the problem.

India's power sector, strained by poorly-maintained transmission lines and continued fuel supply shortages, has struggled to meet rapidly rising demand in Asia's third-largest economy.

Crippling blackouts are common but Delhi, a sprawling city of 16 million people, has suffered particularly badly.

India's newly-elected central government has pledged to improve supplies of power and water, but with key decisions devolved to local governments like that in Delhi, there are limits to what it can do.

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