Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Railways has recorded a drop in freight loading growth rate during the first 20 days of October.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said this while reviewing the progress of his department with general managers of all zonal Railways and production units here on Friday. The slump has been most prominent in loading iron ore, cement and finished steel.

Mr. Prasad attributed the decrease to the impact of the economic crisis gripping various countries across the globe. He hoped that the fall would prove to be temporary and the situation would improve in the remaining months of the current financial year. He directed the general managers to introduce 24-hour freight loading and unloading facilities at all goods sheds and to reduce wagon turnaround time to four days. He ordered the setting up of new goods sheds and asked the GMs to examine all aspects regarding the running of goods trains.