Indian Railways has claimed a 10% increase in freight loading for a six day period in September 2020 compared to the same number of days in September 2019.
A statement released by IR also reports an increase in earnings by 129 crores as compared to the same period last year. Earnings from freight loading were 1,706 crores for six days in September 2019 while it is 1,836 crores for the same period in 2020.
Indian Railways witnessed a drastic fall in freight and passenger revenues during the lockdown period. Passenger service revenues were the most hit as trains stayed off the tracks for more than two months.
Over the past three months, freight loading and earnings have gradually recovered. However, with limited passenger services operational as of now, Indian Railways is on track for a sharp fall in revenue year on year over FY 2019-20.
Loading in the first six days of September was 19.19 million tonnes which includes 8.11 million tonnes of coal, 2.59 million tonnes of iron ore, 1.2 million tonnes of foodgrains, 1.03 million tonnes of fertilizers and 1.05 million tonnes of cement (excluding clinker).
The severe hit to revenues has forced Indian Railways to roll out several incentives for freight customers. Also started were parcel services for smaller shipments. The transporter also set up business development units in every division to attract more business for shipping by rail.
Minister Piyush Goyal has also been meeting with the private sector to try and drum up business for Indian Railways in an effort to bring revenues back up as far as possible.