Railways’ freight loading in June inches towards the same level last year

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 19, 2020

Indian Railways’ freight loading in the first three weeks of June has recovered from the adverse impact of Cvid-19 triggered lockdown, according to its top officials.

In the first 18 days of June, freight traffic by the Indian Railways recovered to the extent of 90 per cent on a year-on-year basis, Indian Railways’ Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said in a webinar on Friday. Demand for commodities such as coal, cement, fertiliser, steel and iron-ore has picked up, which clearly indicates that economic activity is picking up, he said. The foodgrain movement has almost doubled. He added that Indian Railway is now moving towards normal loading pattern.

Indian Railways expects to clock more revenue through freight movement this (financial) year (as against last financial year), the Chairman said. In the passenger segment, we get around ₹50,000 crore, and in freight segment we get around ₹1,30,000 crore (a year), he said.

Indian Railways’ is planning and making effort to see that more and more commodities is brought to Railways (from other modes of transport), the Chairman said.

In passenger segment, we are running only 230 trains (as of now), he said. The Railways is keeping a close watch. The revenue from passenger segment is uncertain, he added.

In May, total freight moved by the Railways was about 82 million tonnes, over 20 per cent lower on a year-on-year basis. The cargo moved in May was same as that about seven years ago.

On moving migrants in Shramik special trains, the Railways still got demands from different states to run 42 trains. According to a presentation made by the national transporter, the Railways can run these 42 trains in one day, but demand from originating States is staggered.

India- China standoff

Asked about prohibiting products from China in Indian Railway projects in the context of ongoing tensions at the India-China border, Chairman Yadav said that Indian Railways had already been promoting domestic competitive bidding in the last two-three years.

Moreover, in most of the projects, the national transporter has been taking steps to promote higher Make in India component in recent years. For instance, in signalling system contracts, the extent of Make in India component has increased towards to over 70 per cent (now).

Published on June 19, 2020

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