Highlights

  • Railways is is trying to minimize the time it takes to move coal to power plants
  • India entering peak demand season from April to October

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Power crisis: 670 trains cancelled, to carry coal and not passengers

A scorching summer is driving demand for coal, which helps generate about 70% of the country's electricity.

As the coal shortage and power crisis spreads across the nation, the railways is stepping up and cancelling passenger trains to use the rails to transport more coal as states face acute supply shortage.

The railway ministry has notified the cancellation of nearly 670 passenger trains till May 24 to ensure transport of coal is not hampered. Railways has also increased the average daily loading of rakes for coal to a five year high.

Also read/watch| Big power cuts coming, Delhi government warns metro and hospitals to be hit

Electricity demand has jumped as temperatures have soared in many parts of India, prompting the weather department to issue heat-wave warnings. India's average temperature in March has been the highest on record for the month since authorities started collecting the data in 1901.

Currently, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh are facing some of the longest power cuts in the country. Of the 12 states facing a shortage, Andhra Pradesh's situation is the direst. The state has reduced its industrial supply by 50% and imposed massive power cuts for domestic users.

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