Power crisis: Commuters face the heat as several passenger trains cancelled to rush in coal rakes
Lucknow, May 02: The railways has cancelled several passenger trains so far to facilitate coal freight movement in the wake of a power crisis in various parts of the country, causing inconvenience to people travelling to and from coal producing states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Following the cancellations, Commuters in Prayagraj were trouble as Railways had cancelled passenger trains to facilitate coal movement amid power crisis.
Speaking to ANI, a commuter said,''After reaching at station, we got to know about cancellation of train. I've to go to Delhi but so far no train is available.''
The South East Central Railway (SECR) division that covers the coal producing regions has cancelled 34 passenger trains, while the Northern Railways (NR), the division that receives coal for many power stations in the north, has cancelled eight trains.
The Central Electricity Authority's (CEA) daily coal stock report states that 56 of 165 thermal power stations are left with 10 per cent or less coal, and at least 26 have less than five per cent stock left. India's 70 percent electricity demand is fulfilled through coal.
Following the cancellations, the railways has raised the average daily loading of coal rakes to over 400 a day, the highest in the past five years, the data stated.
Railway officials said that the national transporter has put 533 rakes for coal duty a day, 53 more than what was put into service last year. On Thursday, 1.62 million tonnes of coal was loaded in 427 rakes.
Few days ago, the cancellations resulted in massive protests in Chhattisgarh, which falls in the SECR division, with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel speaking to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, resulting in restoration of around six trains.
To ensure transparency in supply, the railways has also imposed loading restrictions for rails and parcels on select routes.