SWR: Freight loading touches new record
Freight loading has picked up in South Western Railways (SWR) consistently from August; it has been steadily loading over 3.0 million tonnes every month since then
Bengaluru: As easy, quick, economic and efficient transport for freight, loading has shown a remarkable surge in Indian Railways of late. After a relative slowdown during the first four months of the lockdown necessitated due to pandemic, freight loading has picked up in South Western Railways (SWR) consistently from August. The zone has been steadily loading over 3.0 million tonnes every month since then.
After the setting up of the Business Development Units (BDU) on SWR both at the Zonal and Divisional levels in April, the freight loading has picked up momentum. A slew of freight incentive schemes and concessions were announced to give a boost to freight loading and attract customers to use Railways as their preferred mode of transport of goods and to bring more and more commodities into the freight basket of Railways. Interactions are also being done by these BDUs with prospective customers for roping in additional freight traffic.
According to reports, this financial year, SWR has loaded 19.51 million tonnes of freight up to October. In spite of the restrictions due to the pandemic, the SWR has so far loaded 5.035 million tonnes of coal to ensure uninterrupted power generation for the plants in Karnataka. The zone continued to load hot rolled coil steel from the steel plants and 4.768 million tonnes of steel were loaded till October during this financial year. Despite the lockdown due to pandemic, the SWR could load 10,000 plus tonnes of food grains and maintained the food chain in Karnataka.
During the month of September and October, SWR has surpassed the freight loading target set by Railway Board and corresponding figures of last year. During the month of September, SWR loaded 3.03 million tonnes of freight which is 4.48 % more than the corresponding period of last year. Similarly, during the month of October, SWR has loaded 3.22 million tonnes of freight which is 8.61% more than the corresponding period of last year.
Ajay Kumar Singh, GM/SWR claims that freight operations are being ramped up and all efforts are being made to match last year's loading by the end of current quarter. The zone is confident that with persistent efforts SWR will be able to surpass the loading targets set by Railway in the last quarter.
The SWR is striving to improve facilities and infrastructure at all loading and unloading terminals by improving approach roads, provision of better lighting, restrooms for workers etc to encourage loading. Monitoring of running of freight trains and ensuring availability of wagons for movement of freight are being done at the highest level. The zone has been able to achieve turnaround in loading duly observing all Covid related protocols like social distancing, wearing of face masks etc.
The highlight of this year's freight loading is quantum jump in transportation of automobiles from Doddaballapur, Penukonda, Kadakola, Hosur etc. On an average, one rake of new millennium goods has been transported from the SWR every day of the month during October.