Guntakal Division incurs Rs 186.56 cr revenue loss due to pandemic
Tirupati: The Covid-19 pandemic caused heavy loss to various sectors and the Railways, the largest public transport system in the country was no exception. The Guntakal Division of South Central Railway has incurred a loss of 83.26 per cent from March to August 2020 compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
In real terms, the division earned about Rs 224 crore during the six-month period from March to August 2019, the revenue fell steeply to Rs 37.50 crore during the same period in this fiscal. The net loss during the period was Rs 186.56 crore. Due to lockdown, the railways stopped its passenger operations for nearly 70 days between March to May and resumed with limited operations from June 1. Though SCR operated Rayalaseema express daily between Tirupati to Nizamabad from June 1, the passengers were not showing interest in travelling unless they found no alternative. According to Divisional Railway Manager Alok Tiwari, only about 40-50 per cent of the seats were booked in the train. Speaking to The Hans India, he said that as against 46.09 lakh passengers travelled during March to August 2019, only 6.63 lakh passengers have travelled in the same period in 2020 resulting in a net loss of 39.46 lakh passengers. In the same breath,
Tirupati which earns a major chunk of revenue for the division has witnessed a net revenue loss of Rs 89.37 crore, while the net loss in the passengers was 20.59 lakhs. The further losses both in terms of revenue and number of passengers depend largely on how the corona situation will unfold which no one can predict at this stage. However, though the passenger segment earnings were affected, the railways have been trying to fill up to some extent from freight.
According to senior divisional commercial manager B Prasantha Kumar, the division has been in the forefront in transporting essential commodities to the nation during the lockdown period. By operating 'Doodh Duronto' specials from Renigunta to Delhi with the cooperation of Balaji dairy, so far, it has transported three crore litres of milk through 126 trips between March 26 to September 28.