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India blackouts casts shadow over Modi's economic recovery

Published on Sep 5, 2014 8:26 AM
A shopkeeper waits for customers at a grocery shop during a power-cut in Mumbai on Sept 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Narendra Modi took decisive action as chief minister of Gujarat state to secure round-the-clock supplies of electricity.

Now, as prime minister of India, he is under attack for failing to avert a national power crisis.

More than half of India's thermal power stations have less than a week's supply of fuel - the lowest levels since mid-2012 when hundreds of millions of people were cut off in one of the world's worst blackouts.

Coal stocks at thermal stations have hit critical levels as payment disputes escalate, unleashing power cuts that could choke off an economic recovery before it takes hold and hurt Modi's prospects at forthcoming state elections.

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