There has been a considerable dent in the freight being carried by the South Central Railway (SCR) by 11.26 million tonnes (MTs) for the last three months — April, May and June — when compared to the same period last year due to lockdown.
If it was 18.38 MTs of freight this financial year, last year it had been 29.64 MTs. However, the amount of foodgrains being carried has increased substantially during the same period by 1.72 MTs with 2.71 MTs transported in the last three months as against 0.99 MTs last year.
At the same time, the zone seems to be coming out of the lockdown effect with the freight showing gradual improvement — 4.81 MTs in April, 6.71 MTs in May and 6.86 MTs in June. Loading of granite, cement and fertiliser has shown considerable rise when compared to the previous years due to ‘special efforts’ put in by the staff, said General Manager Gajajan Mallya on Wednesday.
Granites loading was 0.126 MTs more, cement 0.19 MTs more and fertilizer transportation 0.05 MTs more in the last three months (see chart). Senior railway officials detailed several measures which helped freight movement recover from the lockdown.
These include sending nine trains towards Bangladesh carrying food items for the first time like chillies, turmeric and ginger, coordinating with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and local traders for loading foodgrain wagons in places, including Nizamabad, Warangal, Kazipet, Miryalaguda, Karimnagar, Peddapalli and Khammam in the State and Rajahmundry, Samalkota, Nidadavolu, Eluru, Vijayawada, Gudivada, Machilipatnam, Tanuku and Palakoluu in AP towards Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
Running of 42 Jai Kisan specials where two freight trains (84 wagons with 5,200-tonne capacity foodgrains) were moved in a single path, increase in average speeds to 48.6 kmph as against the usual 18 kmph, track maintenance making use of limited services, etc., had put the goods traffic back on track.