Indian Railways cancelled over 9,000 trains in 2022; 1,900 due to coal movement: RTI | Railways News- Newshubweek

Indian Railways cancelled over 9,000 trains in 2022; 1,900 due to coal movement: RTI | Railways News- Newshubweek
Written by Arindam

The Indian Railways has cancelled about 9,000 train services within six months of 2022. A Right To Information (RTI) has found that about 1,900 trains were cancelled due to coal movement in the last three months. In a reply to a query under the RTI filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaur, the Railways has said that it cancelled 6,995 train services for maintenance work or construction purposes, while 1,934 services were cancelled from March to May due to coal movement.

Officials said due to a severe shortage of power, the Railways have been forced to prioritise the movement of coal rakes over passenger services. They also said that the national transporter is on its way to delivering 58 supercritical and 68 critical projects worth more than Rs 1,15,000 crore in the next few years, and hence, maintenance as well as construction work is also being carried out as a priority across its network.

However, this has critically affected the movement of passengers across the country, especially during the peak summer months. According to the RTI, from January to May, the Railways cancelled 3,395 services of mail/express trains, while 3,600 passenger train services were cancelled during the same period due to maintenance reasons or for construction works.

Also read: Indian Railways extends trips of 14 Summer Special trains, check full list here

While in January and February, no train services were cancelled due to coal movement, 880 mail/express train services and 1,054 passenger train services were cancelled due to the prioritizing of coal rakes in the last three months.

The Railways are also struggling to provide confirmed tickets to passengers due to a shortage in trains, a severe surge in demand for tickets over the last few years, and a lack of new trains.

According to official figures, in 2021-22, more than 1.60 crore passengers who had bought tickets could not travel because they were being wait-listed, indicating a shortage of trains on busy routes. Due to the prioritising of coal rakes, the Railways has recorded its best-ever monthly freight loading of 131.6 million tonnes (MT) in May 2022.

The loading of coal to powerhouses — both domestic and imported — has increased by more than 11 MT in May with 52.4 MT of coal being moved to powerhouses as against 41.01 MT last year, registering a 28 percent growth. Cumulatively, in the first two months of this year, Indian Railways loaded over 18 MT of extra coal to powerhouses as compared to the same period last year with a growth of 24 percent.

According to the figures, the passenger sector requirement in 2019-2020 was 8.4 billion and the average drop in the waiting list was 8.9 percent. During the busy season, 13.3 percent of passengers were not able to get confirmed reservations.

With the demand for more trains from passengers, the Railways have introduced around 800 new trains in the last six years since the Railway Budget was merged with the General Budget in 2016. On average, the Railways operates a little over 11,000 trains per day. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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