Current fiscal most challenging for Indian Railways: Goyal

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) Acknowledging that this fiscal was the 'most challenging' for Indian Railways, Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said it was time to rewrite the future of the national transporter as 'self-sustaining, punctual, green and first choice of business'.

At a review meeting with Railway Board members and general managers of zonal railways, Goyal said in the future, the success of Indian Railways would define the success of the nation.

During the lockdown, all services of the railways had come to a grinding halt and even now, only special trains are plying.

'The year was the most challenging for the railways. During COVID-19 the railways has demonstrated the resolve to fight back and emerge stronger. The mindset of the railways has transformed. The use of new technologies and innovation has created new standards and benchmarks.

'It is the time to rewrite the destiny and future of the railways which is self-sustaining, punctual, passenger-friendly, safe, green and the first choice of businesses,' he said.

The railway minister said the 1,223 MT highest freight loading achieved this year is a message of positivity to the nation. Also, the 5,900-km electrification achieved this year is the highest ever, he said.

Goyal also complimented the railway officers and staff for making 'extraordinary' efforts during the pandemic to increase freight loading.

He also stressed on safety measures to be adopted and directed officials to take pro-active steps towards the same. The railways has continued to maintain high momentum in freight figures in terms of loading, earning and speed in the month of March 2021.

Freight revenue for the year 2020-21 is Rs 1,14,652.47 crore as compared to Rs 1,12,358.83 crore last year which is a growth of over 2 per cent, Goyal said. PTI ASG NSD NSD