Hundreds of millions of people are without electricity after three grids went on the blink. Hospitals are running on back-up generators, while much of the country’s train network has come to a standstill.

Six hundred million people in 20 of India’s states were affected when grids in northern, eastern, and north-eastern India broke down.

Power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde blamed states that took more than their power quota for the meltdown.

“I have also instructed my officials to penalise the states which overdraw from the grid,” he said.

In Delhi, many train services remain suspended and some traffic lights are still down.

The precise cause of the power cut is yet to be established. However, power outages are not uncommon, thanks to a general shortage of supply and an ageing grid.

Image: Getty