Hyderabad

SCR freight trains on the move

Staff working on keeping halted passenger trains fit

South Central Railway (SCR) has shut down passenger trains services from Saturday midnight, about 744 of them in all originating from its stations. Since the services have been cancelled at different places, top officials are huddled on bringing the empty rakes to the nearest station or yard and on running the critical freight trains on Tuesday.

The zone has about 85,000 employees on its rolls, of which at least 50,000 are rail maintenance staff, including loco-pilots, engineers, sanitation workers and so on who take turns at keeping the rakes in good shape so that they can start rolling at a short notice when the green signal is given. "Passenger trains were stopped at various places and field staff are involved in keeping the trains in a fit condition; the rest of the 20% administrative and clerical staff have been advised to work on alternate days," said senior officials.

While 744 passenger trains in the zone and 13,000 across the country have been halted, the zone is continuing to run about 200 freight trains to move essential commodities for meeting the needs of the nation round the clock so the track/train maintenance staff, those belonging to engineering/signalling/telecom/commercial staff are working. Commodities are being transported by coal to various thermal plants to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the region, petroleum products to meet the needs of industry and other users; foodgrains, milk etc. to meet the basic needs of people during this period.

"Our staff are deployed at the goods sheds, stations, and control offices other than field offices with the involvement of security personnel even while practising protocol of cleanliness, sanitation and sterlisation. The passenger trains too are getting a cleanup as also the stations and other premises," they explained. There are 8,000 freight trains running across the country in the 16 railway zones and about 250 of them criss-cross SCR area too.

Close coordination is being maintained with the State governments so that rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without delay. Demurrage and wharfage rates for goods and parcels have been slashed at half of the prescribed rates till March 31. Free time for loading/unloading of wagons and free time for removal of consignment from railway premises has been increased to double the prescribed free time with General Manager Gajanan Mallya monitoring all the activities from the headquarters, said Chief PRO Ch. Rakesh. In this context, he requested all the stake-holders to support faster loading and unloading of essential supplies.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 6:33:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/scr-freight-trains-on-the-move/article31155858.ece

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