My topic is India’s negatives. I will talk about their infrastructure and I will focus on the power construction by looking into one of the most serious power failure incident in India.As is known to all, India is one of the fast-growing large economies in the world. However, it has extremely poor development of infrastructure. It is a consensus reached by mainstream economists that infrastructure as the foundation of economy will boost the economic growth, and this impact will be more obvious in the long run, while low standard infrastructure construction always stays as the long-standing supply bottleneck for India.WEF’s (World Economy Forum) “Global Competitiveness Report 2014/2015”on the quality of power supply showed that, India ranked merely No.103 among the 144 economies involved.WB has predicted that the GDP growth rate of India during 2015 to 2020 will be about 7%. Therefore the required power supply growth rate should be above 10% to satisfy its economic growth while the BMI(Business Monitor International) has forecasted the average growth rate on electricity power in the long term can only achieve 6%.In 2012, a massive power failure incident happened in India and a large scale of people’s daily life and production activities were heavily damaged. It was considered to be “the blackout of the century”. According to the report, at half past 2 a.m., July 30th, 2012, of 28 states, 9 of them were out of electricity. Only 11 hours later, another 13 states suffered from the power cut-off, and 670 million people were influenced by this, left half of the country at a loss of power. Until 6 p.m. that day, the power system was finally recovered.The incident was caused by different reasons. It was reported that summer was extremely hot and the average temperature in May and June was above 41 degrees centigrade, the highest in the past 33 years. And as rainy season delayed, peasants had to pump the groundwater to water their crops. The overuse of electricity went beyond the capacity of India’s power system and led to this nationwide disaster.This massive power failure caused a disastrous impact on the whole country. Due to the lack of electricity, 300 railways and all the subways in New Delhi were shut down, the traffic lights were out of work which caused several serious traffic jams. Furthermore, many miners were trapped under the well, 0.2 million workers had to stop their work, and the bank system also broke down. Not only it caused serious domestic problems, but also seriously damaged India’s image as an emerging power and destroyed investment confidence on an international scope.The incident just took place under the economic downturn in India and India was being questioned about its economic prospects. One month before the incident happened, the international rating agency Standard& Poor’s had already listed India as the country not suitable for investment and rated India BBB- which was only one level higher than the junk grade. And after the incident, an essay called “say goodbye to the Incredible India” was published in The Economist which showed the worldwide worries about India’s economy being encountered with big trouble and investor confidence was sharply shattered.
In fact, in India, incidents of power cut-off have been quite normal. What’s more severe is that everyone seems to get used to it, from the people to the government. The frequent power system problems reflect the insufficient capacity of Indian power sectors. Whether Indians care about or not, people’s life standard, work efficiency and India’s industrial and agricultural development have been seriously influenced.印度阿萨姆邦的古瓦哈提，已经习惯间歇性停电的女孩们就着烛光读书。图：加尔各答的蔬菜商人点着蜡烛售卖路透社2012年7月31日印度的加尔各答，理发师拿着蜡烛给顾客理发。Residents in cities——worse life standardIn India, intermittent power supply happens every day. Different regions in India have to take turns at cutting off the electricity to ensure the use of electricity in other regions. The frequency of power failure is just like the frequency of earthquakes in Japan. Many stores, hotels and schools have to prepare a small size of diesel generator in case of need. Meanwhile, there are nearly one third of the population haven’t started to use electricity. In China, the number is only 1%. And as for those who have powers, they have to bear the consistent possibility of fires caused by electricity leakage.Production activity——prevent industrial development, especially development of manufacturingPoor power construction has always been a supply-side challenge to India’s economic growth and outdated power plants has heavily damaged the efficiency of industrial production and are the main reason why India is always been a country weak in its industrial development. The chairman of Tata Power has pointed out, only if India upgrade infrastructure construction, enhance energy and logistics system can India attract foreign investment in manufacturing.Peasants in farm fields and rural areas——prevent agricultural developmentPrivate power companies account for a large proportion of electricity supply while those private companies are unwilling to supply for the rural areas. A village in northern part of India: only the rich is able to use electricity 3-4 hours a day. Peasants who can’t afford the high price of electricity will resort to power theft to save their crops in the dry season.