India's federal ministry of railways has decided to cancel around 1,100 passenger trains over the next 20 days to make way for coal rakes, local media reported Thursday.
The cancellation of trains includes 500 trips of express trains and 580 trips of passenger trains.
"Around 1,100 trips of various trains have been cancelled across India to allow faster movement of coal carriages to tackle critically low stocks at power plants," a report said.
The move comes in the middle of blackouts and outages in many states amid scorching heat that has led to a significant surge in the demand for electricity across the country.
Previously 753 trips of these trains have been cancelled by the South East Central Railway and the Northern Railways until May 8 to free up tracks for the smooth running of coal rakes.
Last week railway officials told the media the move was temporary and passenger services will be restored soon after the situation normalizes.
Many states have flagged a crisis of depleting coal stocks to the federal government and power outages have hit normal life and industry in many states.
The power outages have come at a time when many states in India are reeling under a heatwave. Pesky power cuts have been reported in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Punjab, Haryana and Indian-controlled Kashmir at a time when most parts of the country are experiencing an unprecedented heatwave.
About 70 percent of India's electricity is generated by coal.
The cancellation of the trains will primarily impact passengers travelling from key coal-producing states, including Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
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