Konkan Rly. says Karwar day train was causing huge loss

‘Evaluation of PSUs is based on financial performance and it is reviewed by govt.’

August 02, 2021 12:45 am | Updated 12:45 am IST - MANGALURU

According to Konkan Railway, nine services were operated in each direction between April 12 and May 4 this year and the overall occupancy was about 4%.

According to Konkan Railway, nine services were operated in each direction between April 12 and May 4 this year and the overall occupancy was about 4%.

Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) has justified the cancellation of Yeshwantpur-Karwar-Yeshwantpur Tri-weekly day train between Mangaluru Junction and Karwar stating that the service was running under huge loss.

Responding to Kumta-Honnavar MLA Dinakar K. Shetty’s letter seeking immediate restoration of the cancelled service, KRCL Chairman and Managing Director Sanjay Gupta said, “Government of India expects all PSUs to be profitable. Performance evaluation of PSUs is based on the financial performance and this is reviewed by the Government. Furthermore, Government of Karnataka has invested in Konkan Railway and its representative on our Board of Directors expects return from their investment.”

Mr. Gupta said that the tri-weekly day train was restarted in April after the COVID-19 first wave. Between April 12 and May 4, nine services were operated in each direction and the overall occupancy was about 4%.

“The poor response to this train may have been due to the reserved nature of this train as most of the people of Karwar-Mangaluru travel in unreserved class as their travel is short distance. But unreserved travelling of passengers is not yet permitted by the Ministry of Railways to avoid the spread of the pandemic,” he said.

He further said that revenue generation was essential for any organisation for its survival. Even during the pre-COVID-19 time, occupancy on the Karwar train was very low between Karwar and Mangaluru.

Patrons surprised

Meanwhile, surprised with the argument made by KRCL that the occupancy of the train was very low, train patrons said that occupancy or revenue when COVID-19 second wave was on should not be considered at all. They said that KRCL was duty bound to cater to the people of the State who are the second biggest stakeholders in KRCL after Maharashtra.

Refuting Mr. Gupta’s suggestion that the State government did expect profits from KRCL, sources in Infrastructure Development Department (IDD) told The Hindu that if profit-making was the government’s agenda, the Railways would have been given to private operators to handle.

In fact, the government wants more trains to be operated on coastal Karnataka network to boost tourism and industry, sources said and added that the government would talk to KRCL in this regard.

South Western Railway that owns the Karwar train said that a major portion of the total revenues (profit/loss) goes to the owning zone while the originating traffic revenue is shared by the owning as well as operating zones. Sources said that KRCL’s argument of loss from Karwar train was untenable.

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