Though about 40 lakh commuters ditched railways in Palakkad division in April-December period of 2013, it has managed to earn more than the previous year – both in terms of goods and passenger revenue. The Railways had hiked the passenger fares and freight charges were increased by about 2 per cent on October 7, 2013 after the 10 to 20 per passenger fare hike effected on January 21.
A source in the Railways attributed both the fall in commuter traffic and earning from the passenger fares to the fare hike. Short distance travelers are said to have shifted to buses.
The earnings from passenger fare increased to Rs. 405.17 crore registering a 21.54 per cent increase in the nine-month period. The goods traffic earnings - at Rs.317.73 crores - soared up by 14.89 per cent compared with the last year’s performance.
The division raised a total of Rs. 765.40 crore during the fist nine months of this financial year registering a 18.78 per cent over the earning for the corresponding figures of the previous year. Yet, it fell short of the target of Rs.780.60 crore. This was said in a press release issued by the division on Monday quoting the Republic Day speech of Divisional Railway Manager Anand Prakash on Sunday.
The number of passengers carried in the nine months has however gone down to 5.84 crore compared to 6.22 crore passengers in the first nine months of 2012-13. It means that about 38 lakh commuters ditched the Railways in the division “enhanced and sustained efforts will have to be made to regain our lost passenger traffic by …improving our services leading to enhanced passenger satisfaction,” the DRM said.
The release quoting him said passenger trains’ punctuality was 96.8 per cent in the period which was comparable to average punctuality of passenger trains in Southern Railway.
It said the second phase of Rail Electrification in Kannur-Mangalore section would be taken up after the remaining part of the work between Kozhikode and Kannur is completed by March 2015. The Shoranur Junction – Kannur electrification was making substantial progress and 86 km of Shoranur–Kozhikode electrification would be commissioned shortly.
It said 9,215 anti-social elements were prosecuted while Mobile Court on-board train has been launched between Kozhikode and Manjeswara stations, the release added.