Railways unlikely to meet freight target this fiscal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 10, 2012


Shortfall in freight loading is one of the key concerns that will occupy the minds top Railway honchos at the two-day brainstorming session that kicks off on Wednesday.

“The central theme appears to devising ways to increase freight load, because it is only freight earnings that will support our earnings growth,” said an official.

The Railways freight loading growth for the first three quarters (April-December 2011) of the current fiscal are at 4.67 per cent year-on-year. This is lower than the cumulative target of about 7.5 per cent growth for the entire fiscal, despite a robust 8.6 per cent growth in December 2011.

In the run up to the Budget, the creamy layer of the Indian Railways including the Railway Board members, additional members, advisors, general managers - who are operational heads of 16 railway zones and heads of production units - will meet for the general managers' conference.

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On the financial front, there are worries on earnings being short of target while expenses have overshot the budget.

For the eight-month period, there was a shortfall in earnings by Rs 1,953 crore, while the Railways overshot their ordinary working expenses target by Rs 2,036 crore, said a source.

Punctuality and safety issues are another theme. A whole list of sections have been identified where track maintenance is taking longer than usual. It includes Mughalsarai-Jhajha and Lucknow-Kanpur.

The zonal railways have been asked to implement the crew management system to prevent ‘misuse of crew'.

However, officials do not have much hope in terms of outcome of the meet. “There can only be some short term solutions. The entire system is desperately short of capacity. There are no funds to increase capacity. Everybody knows what can be done…but it is for the top leadership to make funds available,” said a source.

The over 100 page agenda document also lists other areas that need attention including passenger amenities and cleanliness.

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Published on January 10, 2012
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