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HINDUSTAN TIMES, THE TIMES OF INDIA (India), AFP (France)

Power has been fully restored Wednesday in India after a grid failure left more than 600 million people without electricity for two days.

The failure of the northern grid in India's state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) on Monday brought the country's expansive railway system to a standstill, left millions in the dark, and trapped 300 coal miners, following the subsequent failures of the eastern and north-eastern grids.

Indian power officials have blamed certain states - including UP, Punjab and Rajasthan - for overdrawing their energy quotas.

Power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told the Hindustan Times: "I have instructed officials to impose heavy penalties, including a pruning of regular quotas, on such states."

Anger has mounted in India against Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who was promoted to Home Minister even before power was fully restored.

Veerappa Moily has taken his place as power minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, despite the power shortage.

The new minister told reporters: "It is a very difficult and challenging situation, and solutions will have to be found."

Indians are still questioning the country's infrastructure failure and the government's apparent incompetence: the Times of India's front-page ran the headline "Powerless and Clueless' Wednesday morning.

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Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra, Lila Paulou, Emma Albright, Chloé Touchard, Meike Eijsberg and Lisa Berdet

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