South-Eastern Rly to expand cargo portfolio

Santanu Sanya Kolkata | Updated on March 10, 2011 Published on March 10, 2011


The declining trend in iron ore throughput has forced South Eastern Railway (SER), the major iron ore loading zonal railway, to broadbase the cargo portfolio by handling more of other items.

Between April to February of the current fiscal, SER's iron ore throughput was 62.74 million tonnes (mt) as compared to 70.26 mt in the same period of last fiscal, thus recording a drop of 7.5 mt. However, during the same period, the total traffic handled was 112.03 mt (115.34 mt ), thus registering a shortfall of 3.3 mt. In other words, the shortfall in iron ore traffic was made up by more than four mt increase in the throughputs of other items.

By and large, coal, both domestic and imported, cement and, to some extent, finished steel, accounted for the bulk of the increase in traffic other than iron ore. It might be noted that the share of iron ore in total traffic, which was 61 per cent during the April-February 2009-10, dropped to 56 per cent or so in the same period of the current fiscal.

Since iron ore has always been single major item of traffic, SER will find it difficult not only to achieve the iron ore throughput target of 73.21 mt but also the total traffic target of 127.91 mt set for the current fiscal. In 2009-10, the total traffic handled was 125.91 mt of which the share of iron ore was 75.73 mt.

The restriction on loading and transportation of iron ore by the Orissa Government on the ground of better mineral management is believed to be the main reason for the present situation on the iron ore front.

Several iron ore mining companies were blacklisted last year and not all of them have been permitted as yet to resume operation. Several mines remain closed and the road movement of the ore from pithead to railhead is subject to so many checks and verifications by the district administration.

Published on March 10, 2011
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