Indian Railways to ensure availability of essential commodities through its uninterrupted freight services

While the whole country continues to be completely locked down due to the pandemic of Coronavirus, Indian Railways is fully committed to the welfare of the countrymen and is making all efforts to ensure availability of essential commodities through its uninterrupted freight services. During the past one week, more than 2 lacs wagons carried supplies to keep the supply chains functional. Of these, more than 1 lac wagons of essential commodities were ferried by Indian Railways to ensure that the nation keeps running and the supply chains keep functioning .

During the situation of lockdown in various States, Indian Railways Staff deployed at various good sheds, stations and control offices is working on 24/7 basis to  ensure that the supply of essential items for the nation does not gets affected.

On 23rd March 2020, total 26577 wagons were loaded for essential commodities like food grains, salt, edible oil, sugar, milk, fruits & vegetables, onion, coal and petroleum products . This includes 1168 wagons of foodgrains, 42 wagons of fruits and vegetables, 42 wagons of onions, 42 wagons of sugar, 168 wagons of salt, 20 wagons of milk, 22473 wagons of coal, and 2322 wagons of petroleum products.

On 24th March 2020, total 27742 wagons were loaded for essential commodities. This includes 1444 wagons of foodgrains, 84 wagons of fruits and vegetables, 168 wagons of salt, 15 wagons of milk, 50 tanks of edible oil, 24207 wagons of coal, and 1774 wagons of petroleum products.

On 25th March 2020, total 23097 wagons were loaded for essential commodities. This includes 876 wagons of foodgrains, 42 wagons of sugar, 42 wagons of salt, 15 wagons of milk, 20418 wagons of coal, and 1704 wagons of petroleum products.

On 26th March 2020, total 24009 wagons were loaded for essential commodities. This includes 1417 wagons of foodgrains, 42 wagons of sugar, 42 wagons of salt, 20784 wagons of coal, and 1724 wagons of petroleum products.

On 27th March 2020, 34648 wagons carried supplies to keep the supply chains functional. Of these, 23682 wagons of essential commodities were ferried by Indian Railways in 425 rakes to ensure that the supply chains keep functioning. Out of the total 23682 wagons which were loaded for essential commodities, there were 1576 wagons of foodgrains, 42 wagons of fruits and vegetables, 42 wagons of sugar, 42 wagons of salt, 20488 wagons of coal, and 1492 wagons of petroleum products.

It may be noted that MHA has lifted  restrictions on movement of goods   to facilitate easy loading and unloading at the various locations across the nation.This has removed ground level discretions in permissions regarding loading and unloading of goods of various kinds at Terminals spread across India.Special efforts are being made by Indian Railways to ferry these goods to maintain the supply chain in the lock down period.     

Close coordination is being maintained with the State Governments so that rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without any delay, amidst various restriction imposed in the wake of Covid-19.

To monitor the uninterrupted movement of essential commodities over Indian Railway system, an emergency freight control is working in the Ministry of Railways. Freight movement is being closely monitored by officials at very senior level.

Indian Railways understands its crucial role during this difficult time and requests all the stakeholders to fully support in ensuring faster loading and unloading of essential supplies.