Freight loading for 2020-21 surpassed level achieved last fiscal: Railway Board Chairman

The railways on Friday said that as of March 12 its freight loading for the financial year 2020-21 has surpassed the level achieved in the last fiscal.

It is a huge achievement given the coronavirus pandemic had disrupted rail movement, railway board chairman Suneet Sharma said.

He said that in 2020-21, the railways loaded 1145.68 MT of goods as compared to 1145.61 MT last year.

“This gives us a great boost and proves how the railways has continued to be the driving force of the economy. We have loaded 1145.68 MT of goods in 2020-21 as compared to 1145.61 MT last year. This is despite the coronavirus crisis which had pushed us into a deficit of 70 MT from April to July,” Sharma said.

He credited the achievement to the rail employees and said initiatives taken by them at the zonal and divisional levels helped the national transporter to increase its freight basket.

The railway board chairman further said on a month-to-month basis, up to March 11, Indian Railways’ loading was 43.43 million tonnes, which is 10 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year (39.33 million tonnes).

On a day-to-day basis, on March 11, the freight loading of Indian Railways was 4.07 million tonnes, which is 34 per cent higher than last year’s loading for the same date (3.03 million tonnes).

The average speed of freight trains in the month of March 2021 till now was 45.49 kmph which is almost double compared to last year for the same period (23.29 kmph).

“It is worth mentioning that a number of concessions/discounts are also being given in Indian Railways to make rail freight movement very attractive. The strong emergence of business development units in zones and divisions, constant dialogue with the industry and logistics service providers, faster speed are adding to the robust growth of freight business for the railways.

“It may be noted that Covid-19 has been used by Indian Railways as an opportunity to improve all-round efficiencies and performances,” Sharma said.