Freight Income in Lean Covid Days Sustains Chandigarh Railway Station

Freight income has helped the Chandigarh railway station absorb the shock of a reduced passenger business during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ambala division’s records show that in July, the Chandigarh station earned Rs 3.97 crore revenue from freight against 64 lakh for the corresponding month last year.

Cumulatively, the figure has come to 6.23 crore against last year’s Rs 5.53 crore. About the freight operations from Chandigarh, senior divisional commercial manager Hari Mohan said, “This July, we loaded tractors on 535 wagons, while the last year’s corresponding figure was 126. From April to July, we have loaded 659 wagons, compared with 574 for the same period last year.” Apart from tractors, we loaded 291 wagons of clinker this July, while the score was zero in July 2019. From April to July, the station staff loaded 494 wagons of clinkers as opposed to 291 in the same period last year.

Divisional railway manager Gurinder Mohan Singh said, “The Ambala division had a total goods earning of Rs 221.4 crore in July 2020, 68.2% higher than the July 2019 earnings of Rs 131.61 crore.” This July 31, the Ambala division also set a new record for single day’s goods earnings by making Rs 13.46 crore. The last highest was Rs 12.89 crore on April 17. The division’s cumulative goods earnings in the financial year up to July are Rs 923.79 crore, 67.3% higher from last year’s Rs 552.25 crore.

Chandigarh station superintendent Anil Aggarwal said, “The freight revenue has increased during Covid-19. Companies do not need a string of approvals for a single consignment, unlike in the case of road transport. We offer them a single-window approval valid till the destination.” Officials of the Ambala division said concessions and discounts had made railways freight service attractive. This improvement will be institutionalised to get higher freight traffic and earnings and for the sake of cost-competitive logistics.