As a result of the drought in 1979, the Indian economy received a severe jolt. All of a sudden it was reported that there was acute power-famine. There was a wide gap between demand for electricity and its supply. Power cuts were imposed for long periods. To conserve electricity, market timings were changed from 8 A.M. to 7 P.M. Electricity was not supplied to consumers for several hours every day. Power-cuts were imposed even on industrial concerns, resulting in a slackening of the pace of industrial production. Enough of electricity was not available even for agricultural purposes.
Various factors contributed to this acute power-famine. For one thing, generation of electricity had not kept pace with the increase in consumption. During the course of time, people had become more and more electricity minded, there had been industrial expansion on an unprecedented scale, and more electricity was being used for running the tube-wells and for other agricultural purpose. The people were also to blame. They did not-realize that electricity is a national asset and should be conserved and used with care. They were wasteful and extravagant in their use of this essential commodity. Several generators which had been in use over the long period.
Of twenty-five years urgently needed repairs and over-hauling. Some of them become unserviceable, and were thrown out of production. The strike of electricity engineers, 'go-slow tactics' of other categories of workers, sabotage at places, all contributed to the crisis.
However it would have been possible to overcome all such difficulties. But the matters worsened and crisis was precipitated by the failure of rains once again over large parts of the country in 1987. For three years in continuation, drought conditions prevailed in most of the northern states. Water in dams and reservoirs dried up and generators could not work. Water...