April ’21 freight loading by Indian Railways 8% less compared to March this year

Freight carried by the Indian Railways fell 8% in the month of April compared to March this year, official data from the railway ministry shows.

The National transporter carried 111.53 million tonne of goods in April, compared to 122.19 million tonne carried in March this year.

Freight carried last month, however, was the highest ever in the month of April in any year, as per railway officials.

“For the month of April which has just ended, we have carried a record 111 million tonnes of traffic,” Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma said on Saturday.

“This is the highest ever loading in the history of Indian Railways in the month of April and you can imagine with the kind of constraints, the challenges in operations, the challenges in industry,” Sharma told reporters via video conferencing.

Despite Covid challenges, for the last eight consecutive months, record loading has been achieved, Sharma said.

“It is always generally like this, April loading comes down slightly after March. I would not attribute this to Covid,” a senior railway ministry official told.

Earnings on account of freight carried, also came down in April this year. The Indian Railways earned Rs 11,164 crore in April as compared to Rs. 12,137.22 earned in March this year on account of goods loaded.

In a separate statement issued on Saturday, the railways ministry said that the railways recorded than 10% increase in freight loading as compared to normal year of 2019-20. Previous best April was 101.04 MT in April 2019, it said.

Indian Railways’ Freight loading for the month of April 2021 was 111.47 million tonnes which includes 51.87 million tonnes of Coal, 14.83 million tonnes of Iron Ore, 3.47 million tonnes of Foodgrains, 2.53 million tonnes of Fertilizers, 3.58 million tonnes of Mineral Oil, 7.1 million tonnes of Cement (excluding clinker) and 4.88 million tonnes of Clinker, the ministry said.