While the Railways is hopeful that revenue from freight this fiscal will surpass last fiscal’s ₹1.23-lakh crore, it expects revenue from passenger movement to be lower.
The national transporter will load more freight this year despite the pandemic challenges, Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman and CEO, Railway Board, said here on Friday.
Passenger revenue is expected to be ₹15,000 crore this fiscal against last year’s ₹53,000 crore, he said. However, the Railways expects to cover its operational expenditure from this year’s revenue.
The Railways has not yet fully resumed passenger train services, a move that frees up more space for freight train movement.
“We are controlling expenditure — there is saving of fuel cost by not running passenger trains and rationalisation of inventory as well...With this, in the present year too, we expect the Railways to be able to meet its operational expenditure from the revenues,” Yadav said.
Until December 16, the Railways had loaded 10 per cent extra freight, compared with the same period last year. On commodity movement, he said, so far, cargo from the traditional basket like coal, steel, cement has been lower than the same time last year, while other products like containers and petroleum products have seen an increase.
On resumption of normal passenger services, Yadav said the Railways was holding regular consultations with States, but the priority is health against the backdrop of the pandemic.
“It is not possible to give a definite date for resumption of normal train services,” he said
He said the trains being operated currently are witnessing 30-40 per cent occupancy on an average, indicating lingering fear of the pandemic.
Clone trains — duplicate trains run on high demand routes — are seeing 70-100 per cent occupancy. “We will continue to run these clone trains post Covid-19 as well…we are meeting the demand by providing seats…moreover we are breaking even as well,” he said.