The Railways will meet its operating expenditure from its earnings despite the coronavirus pandemic, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said yesterday (Saturday, 26th December 2020) assessing a year that saw the national transporter scale down its passenger services to an unprecedented level to contain the spread of the virus.
Addressing a Year-ender press meet, Yadav said several expenditure-control measures and freight revenue earnings will help compensate for the losses in the passenger segment.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Railways’ passenger revenue has come down to just ₹4,600 crore this year compared to ₹53,000 crore last year, a slide of 87 per cent.
Yadav said the Railways expects an increase in freight loading revenue on account of enhanced transportation of non-traditional commodities like food grain and fertilisers.
“The Railways has so far spent 12 per cent less than last year. We have controlled our expenditure and since few trains are operational we are saving on fuel and inventory. Despite COVID-19, we will meet our operating expenditure from our revenue.
“We have almost surpassed both freight loading and freight revenue of last year. So, this year’s freight revenue would be more than last year’s,” he said.
Yadav also said the Railways biggest achievements this year was that it managed to maintain the supply line of essential commodities, ferried more than 60 lakh migrant workers home in Shramik Special trains and also managed to convert challenges into opportunities by clearing the backlog of all maintenance and safety works.