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Coal Crisis Worsens: 42 Passenger Trains Cancelled to Ramp Up Supply; Delhi Sends Out SOS | 10 Points
Coal Crisis: Railways has planned to cancel nearly 700 passenger trains as the major thermal plants are struggling with coal shortages, indicating a looming power crisis.
New Delhi: To bring the power crisis under control in many states, Indian Railways has cancelled nearly 42 passenger trains across India on Friday. Railway officials informed that these trains have been cancelled until further notice to tackle critically low stocks at power plants amid blackouts in several states. Meanwhile, a report has claimed that Railways has planned to cancel nearly 700 passenger trains as the major thermal plants are struggling with coal shortages, indicating a looming power crisis. According to a report of CNBC-TV18, approximately 657 passenger trains—500 mail, express trains, 148 passenger trains are expected to be cancelled to prioritise the movement of coal rakes. On the other hand, Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain claimed that crucial power plants are left with less than a day of coal which can cause blackouts and interrupt crucial services like metro and hospitals.
Coal Crisis: Here’s Your 10-Point Cheatsheet to This Big Story
- Amid reports of coal shortage, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the country’s thermal plants hold about 22 million tonnes of coal which is enough for 10 days and replenishment will be done continuously.
- “Since gas-based power plant got shut, imported prices hiked, no plant functioned at full capacity. Power Ministry has given directions to start it…our thermal power plants hold 21-22mn tonnes coal, enough for 10 days. Replenishment to be done continuously,” Joshi told reporters.
- Furthermore, the Union minister said that the demand of power has increased due to demands from various sectors in an economy which was now growing fast after the slowdown caused by COVID-19.
- Addressing a press conference over looming power crisis, Delhi minister Satyendar jain said,”No (power) back up… back up should be that of coal of over 21 days, but at many power plants, less than a day’s coal left. Can’t function on a day’s back up.”
- “If electricity is being produced and we keep getting it, there’s no issue. But if the power plant shuts down it’ll be problematic (in Delhi)…There’s a coal shortage in country, should’ve 21-day coal backup, but at many power plants coal left for less than a day”, stated Jain.
- Several industry bodies have sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention stating that industries are compelled to purchase power from exchanges at higher rates due to coal shortage to run their captive thermal plants.
- Coal Secretary A K Jain has attributed the low coal stocks at power plants to several factors such as heightened power demand due to the boom in the economy post-COVID-19, early arrival of summer, rise in the price of gas and imported coal and sharp fall in electricity generation by coastal thermal power plants.
- Haryana will take additional power from states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and other sources to meet the consumption.
- For the first time in April, Delhi’s peak power demand clocked 6000 megawatt (MW) as the unabated heatwave continues to push the power demand to newer highs.
- India Meteorological Department has predicted that Delhi will continue to reel under intense heatwave with maximum temperature likely to touch 44 degrees Celsius on Friday.
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