The railways is steadily gaining lost ground in freight loading by surpassing its last year’s freight figures for August so far by 7 per cent, an achievement given that it was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis since March.
According to official figures, the railways which first surpassed its last year’s loading by just 0.3 per cent on July 27 as compared to the loading done on the same day in FY 2019-2020, repeated the feat on August 12 and August 13, by loading 14 per cent and 8 per cent more than what it did on these days last year.
While on August 12, the railways loaded 3.12 MT of freight, last year on this day, it loaded 2.74 MT. The revenue for the day went up by 6 per cent or ₹17.3 crore as compared to last year on the same day.
Similarly the next day, it loaded 3.05 MT of freight which is around 8 per cent more than what it loaded on the same day in FY 2019-2020 when it had loaded 2.82 MT of goods.
So far for the month, it has registered a seven percent increase in loading. While its total loading for the first 13 days of August last year was 36.57 MT, this year during the same period its loading was 39.21 MT.
The railways has also increased the speed of its freight trains. On August 12, the speed of its trains hit 47.05 kmph, while the next day it reached a high of 47.71 kmph as compared to around 24 kmph on these two days last year.
The railways has set a target of achieving 50 per cent more freight loading in the current fiscal. Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav has maintained that a number of concessions and discounts are being given by the Indian Railways since last year to make its freight services more attractive for customers.
The railways has achieved record loading of foodgrains, 80 per cent more than last year, and has introduced time tabled parcel services.
The railways has also set up multi-disciplinary business development units (BDU) at the Railway Board and zonal levels. It has also empowered zonal chiefs to attract traffic.
The business development teams (BDT) will advertise and give wide publicity for generating demand, formulate traffic development proposals to draw newer clients from the industry.