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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Blackouts threaten India's silicon valley
Infosys building
Infosys has its own power generators

Power cuts have dented the image of India's high-tech capital Bangalore, and the blackouts could affect investment in the sector, according to a preliminary report from the global consultancy firm McKinsey.

Karnataka legislative assembly
The lights do not always shine so bright in Bangalore
Development of the information technology sector hinges on power, according to McKinsey, which was hired by the government of the southern Indian state of Karnataka to study the industry.

Bangalore contributes 30% of India's software exports of $6.2bn (4.25bn).

Most software companies, including multi-national giants like Siemens, IBM, Motorola and HP, and Indian companies Wipro and Infosys, have their own power generation plants which adds to their operational costs.

Praying for rain

Blackouts are a harsh reality for the six million people living in Bangalore, with scheduled and unscheduled power cuts ranging between one to three hours a day.

The state draws power mainly from its hydro-electric projects and officials are reportedly hoping for early monsoon rains to ease the power situation.

Power industry officials have warned of six to 10 hour cuts if the rains are delayed.

Karnataka's Chief Minister S.M. Krishna said the government was trying to tackle the power shortage by securing power from neighbouring states Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

The government has also sought power from Bombay's private power producer Tata Power Company.

Karnataka, whose demand is 90 million units a day, faces a shortage of over 10 million units per day.

See also:

10 Jan 02 | Business
18 Jan 02 | Business
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