Indian Railways Saw Higher Freight Loading In FY21 Despite Covid-19
Freight trains operating on railway lines in Navi Mumbai, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Indian Railways Saw Higher Freight Loading In FY21 Despite Covid-19

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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 1,145.68 million tonne of goods as compared to 1,145.61 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 1,145.68 MT of goods in 2020-21 as compared to 1,145.61 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 MT, which is 10% higher than the corresponding period last year (39.33 MT).

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

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).

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"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,” Sharma said.

"It may be noted that Covid-19 has been used by Indian Railways as an opportunity to improve all-round efficiencies and performances," he added.

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