Indian Railways joins 1 billion tonne club in freight loading

New Delhi, Apr 2 (ANI): The Indian Railways achieved yet another significant milestone when it entered the one billion tonne select club in freight movement joining Chinese, Russian and USA railways.

In 2012-13, Indian Railways have been able to achieve an originating freight loading of around 1010 million tonnes (i.e. one billion plus) which shows an incremental loading of 40 million tonnes (4.1 percent growth) over the last financial year.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has congratulated Railwaymen for this achievement.

In a message to them, he said it is really creditable to achieve this significant freight loading despite present economic scenario the world over. The Minister pointed out that Indian Railways will play the role of engine of growth for country's economy.

Bansal had announced in his 2013-14 Rail Budget speech that Indian Railways is poised to enter the one billion tonne select club. Indian Railways did achieve this mile stone despite the present industrial growth in the country. The achievement is more than the revised target of 1007 million tonnes fixed for the year 2012-13.

It may be worthwhile to mention that the economic growth in the country has been sluggish in 2012-13 and it is estimated that the GDP growth would be in the range of 5 percent.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth during the period April-December in 2012-13 has been 0.7 percent. The growth in the index of 8 core infrastructure industries has been 3.3 percent during April-December, 2012-13. Demand for Railway transportation services is a derived demand with a direct co-relation to the IIP growth in the country, especially the growth in the core infrastructure industries.

Under the freight loading strategy adopted by Indian Railways, special focus was given to enhancing evacuation of coal from Coal India Limited (CIL) sources and during the month of March'13, on an average 228 rakes/day were loaded from CIL sources. If the washed coal from coal sourced from CIL is included, on an average 247 rakes/day were loaded during March'13.

Due to increased evacuation of coal by Railways, Coal India has been able to achieve an off-take of 465 million tonnes of coal, even though its production was only 452 million tonnes in 2012-13.

There has been a draw down of 13 million tonnes of stocks with Coal India and its pithead stocks have reduced to 57.9 million tonnes as on 1st April 2013 as against 70.9 million tonnes as on April 1, 2012.

Increased transportation of coal by Railways has facilitated building up of coal stocks with Thermal Power Houses in the country to 20 million tonnes as on April 1, 2013 as against 14.7 million tonnes as on 1st April 2012. Indian Railways also transported 39.29 million tonnes of foodgrains on Food Corporation of India's account in 2012-13 as against 33.71 million tonnes in 2011-12. (ANI)