New Delhi: The railways’ freight loading which had suffered a huge dent during the lockdown period has shown improvement with the national transporter registering more than 90 per cent loading in June so far, as compared to the same period last year, a senior official said.
In this April, the railways’ loading was reduced by 35 per cent as compared to last year, in May, it came down by 22 per cent, but in June, so far, there is only a nine per cent dip as compared to last year, indicating a surge in economic activity in the country.
“Economic activities have picked up. Foodgrain loading has doubled and even coal, fertiliser and cement loading has picked up. June loading is almost back to normal. There is steady growth in loading, slowly we are going towards normal loading patterns,” Chairman Railway Board V K Yadav said.
“The way freight is picking up and the Indian Railways is planning and making efforts to bring more and more commodities into our freight basket, not only will we be able to reach last year’s numbers, but we will earn more revenue than last year,” he said.
While freight loading was 57 million tonnes in June 2019, this year, till June 17, the railways had already loaded 52 million tones, he said.
Mr Yadav, however, said there are still uncertainties over the passenger segment. “As far as revenue is concerned in the passengers segment, we get Rs 50,000 crore, and in freight (segment) we earn Rs 1,30,000 crore. I have no doubt that we will do better than last year in freight, but since we are unable to run as many trains that we usually do, in our passenger revenue there are some uncertainties,” he said.
According to the latest data, railways freight earnings dropped by Rs 8,283 crore during the lockdown months of April and May as compared to the same period last year.