Amidst reports of the coal crisis in India, a video tweeted by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar went viral on social media with captions praising the government’s efforts in supplying coal to power plants. Newschecker’s analysis found that the video is actually from January 2021.
While Javadekar has not mentioned any date regarding the incident, it must be noted that the Tweet comes at a time when power discoms had recently sounded SOS regarding lack of coal reserves.
India is amidst a severe coal shortage with reserves in several thermal power plants down to near zero in early October. While the economy got better after the second wave of the pandemic, supplies to meet the rising demands are unavailable due to insufficient stocking and an increase in international price of coal.
Sharing the two-minute and nine-second-long video of a freight train carrying coal on Twitter, Javadekar wrote, ‘4 km long Rack train with 4 engines being run on war footing basis to supply coal to power plants…’ on October 20. The video has over 1,20,000 views and has been retweeted over 2000 times.
An archived link to the tweet can be accessed here.
Javadekar, who was the former Information and Broadcasting Minister also shared the video on his Facebook page.
Several Facebook and Twitter users shared the video hailing PM Modi. Using Crowd Tangle -a tool to analyse social media platforms- we found the video has been posted over 60 times each on Twitter and Facebook since October 20.
To investigate the claim, Newschecker ran a reverse image search on keyframes from the video and found a link to a YouTube video posted by ‘Ministry of Railways – India.’
The description section of the video dated January 6, 2021, reads, ‘First ever long haul of 4 loaded trains from Korba with a total load of 20,906 tons (of coal).’
Analysing the video frame by frame we found it to be indistinguishable when compared with the video posted by Javadekar.
Newschecker compared a frame at the 40-second mark in both the videos and found a green and yellow structure on the platform in both the videos.
Further on a keyword search for, ‘First ever long haul of 4 loaded trains sheshnag’ which is in the caption of the YouTube video we found a report by Financial Express dated January 7, 2021.
According to the report, Indian Railways set a record with the longest-ever -2.8 kilometres- Sheshnag freight train. The report also carries a tweet by Indian railways which had tweeted the now-viral video back in January with captions reading, ‘First ever long haul of 4 loaded trains…’
An old video from January 2021 is falsely shared as a recent one by Prakash Javadekar in the context of the coal crisis in the country.