Amid India’s Power Crisis, 657 Trains Cancelled For Priority Movement Of Coal Carriages
Of the total cancelled trains, 509 are mail and express trains, while 148 are passenger trains. As per official data, a total of 533 coal rakes have been put on duty to ensure priority coal supply at a time when the nation scrambles to replenish depleting inventories at power plants.
New Delhi: The Indian Railways on Friday decided to cancel 657 mail, express and passenger trains to ensure priority routes for coal carriages in a bid to avoid a full-blown power crisis in the country. Of the total cancelled trains, 509 are mail and express trains, while 148 are passenger trains. As per official data, a total of 533 coal rakes have been put on duty to ensure priority coal supply at a time when the nation scrambles to replenish depleting inventories at power plants.
Earlier in the day, Gaurav Krishna Bansal, an executive director at Indian Railways told NDTV that measure is temporary and passenger services will be restored as soon as the situation normalizes. “The state-run operator is trying to minimize the time it takes to move coal to power plants”, he said.
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Delhi’s Power Minister Satyendar Jain, today, claimed the national capital is facing the current coal crisis due to the lack of railway racks. “Earlier 450 railway racks were available, now it has been reduced to 405 racks. Better coordination by the Centre is required to avert the crisis,” he said.\
Government has decided to cancel 657 Mail/Exp/Passenger train services to ensure priority routes for coal wagons and faster turnaround. A total of 533 coal rakes put on duty. For the power sector, 427 rakes loaded yesterday. 1.62 million tonnes loaded for power sector. pic.twitter.com/UbCho8Tzsi
— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2022
The early arrival of summer and heatwave is driving demand for coal, which helps generate about 70% of electricity in India. Several states of India, including Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh are facing long hours of blackouts, while some industries are cutting output due to fuel shortage.
As per media reports, coal reserves at India’s power plants have declined almost 17% since the start of this month and are barely a third of the required levels. The supply crunch comes just months after a crippling power crisis last autumn saw coal stockpiles plunge to an average four days, triggering blackouts in several states, according to a report by NDTV.
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