Power Emergency In India! Indian Railways Cancel 40+ Trains For Swift Movement Of Coal Across India
Anticipating a power crisis due to shortage of coal, the Indian Railways has canceled around 42 passenger trains to ensure faster delivery to and from coal producing regions of Chattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
The Railways said that this is an ‘interim measure’ and that the cancellations have affected mostly non-priority sectors and less busy routes.
However, many passengers have been left in the lurch ahead of the upcoming summer holiday season.
34 of the canceled trains are from the coal rich South East Central Railway (SECR) and eight from Northern Railways where many of the power plants are based.
Chhattisgarh Govt Protests
Protests have erupted due to this move.
The Chhattisgarh State Congress has been threatening to block the movement of coal from the local mines which could aggravate the troubles of the stressed power sector.
The State’s Congress Media Cell Chairman Sushil Anand Shukla said that just seven trains are not enough to cover the routes or bear the load of the passengers.
Hence it will continue its protests and will do “whatever it takes” to resume normal operations.
Increase In Daily Loading Of Coal Rakes
He added that it is the poor who are the worst affected by such decisions.
Official data shows that following the cancellations, the Railways has raised the average daily loading of coal rakes to over 400 per day, which is the highest in the past five years.
The national transporter has put 533 rakes for coal duty daily with as many as 427 loaded on Thursday carrying a total of 1.62 million tonnes.
Railway officials have also said that about 753 trips involving 363 mail/express trains and 390 passenger trains in the SCER and NR railway zones have been canceled.
The Common Man Affected
This has had ripple effects across Chhattisgarh, with business owners, travel operators and travelers alike feeling shortchanged.
A travel operator said that there is a lot of pent-up demand during summer holidays due to Covid-induced disruption in the past two years.
Weddings are also scheduled in April and May.
Daily Commuters Affected
Fewer trains available have wreaked havoc on such plans since they will either have to cancel their plans or be forced to change multiple trains or use other modes of travel.
Apart from the long distance commuters, many daily commuters who travel to the bigger cities for work or to find work will also be affected by the suspended services.