New Delhi:  Amid sharp criticism over his elevation as Home Minister on a day the nation faced its worst electricity blackout, the outgoing Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday said people should appreciate that electricity supply was restored within hours.

"We got electricity in a matter of hours... people should appreciate how work is done at the grid," Shinde told reporters at his residence here.

Electricity grids tripped for the second time in two days on Tuesday, causing blackouts in 19 states and two Union Territories including the national capital Delhi.

Even before the power was fully restored, the government announced that Shinde has been appointed as Home Minister in place of P Chidambaram who returned to Finance Ministry after three-and-half years.

Shinde said he has submitted the report on the power crisis to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

"I have briefed PMO... in the USA light (electricity) does not come for four days, here we got it (restored) in a matter of hours," he said.

Power supplies were fully restored in 15 after the wee-hour tripping of grid on Monday, and it took almost 20 hours to get back electricity in all the areas that saw power failure on Tuesday.

After the second tripping of the grid on Tuesday, it was officials of Power Grid Corporation of India, the state-owned firm which operates most of the electricity transmission lines in the country, who were tasked with the job of explaining the reasons for the failure.

Earlier this week, Shinde had said that in 2003 there was blackout in some states of USA, which got fixed in about four days, while back home the engineers at Power Grid Corp were able to restore power in hours.

North India faced a massive electricity failure early Monday morning leaving one-fourth of the country's population powerless.

Even bigger crisis happened on Tuesday following the collapse of three Grids -- Northern, Eastern and North Eastern.

Meanwhile, even as India battled the worst electricity crisis, Shinde was elevated to the post of Home Minister.

In a Cabinet reshuffle, P Chidambaram was made the Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs Veerappa Moily took additional charge of the Power Ministry.


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