New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Around 1.5 lakh passengers in 300 trains suffered delays as the power grid failure crippled operations across eight divisions of the northern railway Monday, while 200 goods trains were cancelled, said railway officials.
The cancellation of goods trains, in order to accord priority to movement of the stalled passenger trains, resulted in a revenue loss of over Rs.100 crore, officials said.
According to the railways, electricity supply to the network has been restored in most places but many trains, including the prestigious Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and express trains, were still running hours behind their schedules.
"Operations are normal but several trains are running late... we are trying to cope with the crisis," Anil Saxena, additional director general, public relations in the railway ministry, told IANS.
"We can't make up for the loss but we are trying to restore normalcy."
According to railway officials, some of the delayed trains included the Kolkata-Giridih Lal Quila Express which was late by 11 hours, the Sitamarhi-Anand Vihar Lichchavi Express (7 hours late), the Dibrugarh-Delhi Brahmputra Mail (late by 7 hours 45 minutes), the Allahabad-New Delhi Prayag Raj Express (late 5 hours), the Chennai-New Delhi Grand Trunk Express (6 and a half hours) and the Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express (5 and a half hours).
Officials said the northern power grid failure hit the train operations at around 2.30 a.m.
Though power supply was partially restored by 6 a.m. when additional electricity was obtained from the Dadri power plant near Delhi, the situation reached near-normalcy only by 7 a.m., said officials.
Power supply was also arranged from areas not affected by the grid failure and in some places, diesel engines were deployed to pull the trains, they said.
"Senior managers are monitoring the situation along with technical staff and are in touch with power suppliers," said Saxena.
He said that in order to ensure safety and security of the passengers, who suffered due to delay in train operations in the early morning hours, the railways had also deployed Railway Protection Force and coordinated with the local police across the Northern Railway network.
--Indo-Asian News Service