No let-up in railway freight service

Mysuru division hauls 3.62 lakh tonnes of essential commodities

The freight services of the railways has continued unabated during the current lockdown to ensure the availability of essential commodities in the vast hinterland across the State.

The Mysuru Division of the South Western Railway has hauled over 3.62 lakh tonnes of essential commodities, bridging the surplus and deficiency divide which has helped in timely distribution of foodgrains and other commodities.

Since the lockdown, Mysuru Division has handled 157 rakes of freight traffic comprising 5,825 wagons with an overall tonnage of 3.62 lakh. Essential commodities such as rice, wheat, potato seeds and petroleum products formed 60% of the total wagons handled and fertilizers, cement, coal and slag accounted for the rest with lion’s share for rice at 2,539 wagons.

The authorities said transportation of essential commodities by the railways when the truck movement had collapsed, ensured continuity in the supply chain despite many hurdles and obstacles brought about by the pandemic.

The smooth operation called for meticulous planning and constant coordination of operations with the representatives of Food Corporation of India (FCI) which helped in efficient management of freight terminals at Mysuru, Shivamogga Town, Hassan, Chitradurga and other places in the State.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Railways (MoR) has announced a slew of measures for freight traffic during this period including non-levy of demurrage, wharfage and other ancillary charges, relaxations in distance-related conditions, reduction in the minimum number of wagons to get concession in freight rates, non-levy of haulage charges for movement of empty containers, provision of the facility for registration of demand for wagons and issue of railway receipts electronically, etc., are all aimed at attracting more freight traffic.

Aparna Garg, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway, Mysuru has said that all possible assistance will be provided to freight customers offering traffic of essential commodities so as to keep the supply chain intact.

She also underscored the importance of safety in train operations and called for a higher degree of vigil in maintenance of critical assets of the railways including tracks, bridges, signalling and telecommunication equipment, with zero tolerance for mishaps.

In view of the suspension of passenger services, the paths are clear and the freight trains are clocking speeds of nearly 75 kmph as against the normal speed of around 20 kph to 30kmph and this has helped in early transportation of the commodities, the sources added.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 7:09:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-let-up-in-railway-freight-service/article31463614.ece

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