India's national supplier body says the recent power outage that crippled vast tracts of the north and left hundreds of millions without electricity, led to a "total collapse" of infrastructure."

The Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA) based in Delhi, said many of its 650 members across India were also forced to incur a massive spike in energy prices due to the extra cost of using back-up generators.

"Power stations shut down and that led to still more shortages - it created a chain reaction," ACMA executive director, Vinnie Mehta, told just-auto from Delhi. "There was a total collapse of public infrastructure."

The authority regulating power drawn from the grid has apparently promised a similar event of such dramatic proportions will not happen again following what appears to be some Indian States taking more power from the system than they were allocated.

Pictures from India show Dehli in what seems to be complete chaos as huge numbers of workers sent home from powerless businesses, found themselves stranded at train stations that themselves had no electricity.

People can be seen clogging the roads in an effort to walk home, while some even resorted to simply sitting on railway lines to allow the human backlog to clear.

"What happened was unprecedented," said Mehta. "For our members, we do keep back-ups and we have diesel generators that can support our plants. We have to keep a back-up in India because our power is so erratic.

"Because diesel electric is more expensive than the power supplied by the grid, it does increase the cost of production. The commercial rate of electricity should be INR7-INR8 - diesel could be double or close to double."

ACMA's members seem to have coped with the chronic failure of the power system, which buckled under the enormous pressure of India's booming economy drawing vast amounts of energy from what seems an ageing infrastructure, but other industry bodies fared less well.

The Confederation of Indian Industry has taken a much more 'aggressive' stance said the ACMA director, although it is too early to estimate the cost of the catastrophic failure.