Not possible to give definite date for resumption of normal train services: Railway Board chairman

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) The railways on Friday said it is not possible to provide a definite date for the resumption of normal train services and pointed out that it has seen an 87-per cent drop in the earnings from the passenger segment so far this year, compared to the last year.

Addressing a press conference, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said so far in the current fiscal, the railways' earnings from passenger revenue have been Rs 4,600 crore and estimates show that by March 2021, the figure is expected to rise to Rs 15,000 crore.

Yadav, however, said the loss in the passenger segment will be overcome from the earnings through freight, which is expected to cross last year's figures. He said by December, the national transporter had already achieved 97 per cent of last year's loading.

Yadav said the railways has suffered massive losses in passenger revenue due to the suspension of train services because of the coronavirus pandemic.

'It is not possible to give a definite date for the resumption of normal train services. The general managers have been in discussion with the state governments and we will resume the services when and where we get the go-ahead. Even now, the situation is not normal.

'So far, our earnings from passenger revenue are Rs 4,600 crore and by the year-end, our aim is to take our total earnings from the passenger segment to Rs 15,000 crore. In the last fiscal, our earnings from this segment were Rs 53,000 crore. This makes our earnings 87 per cent less than the last year,' Yadav said.

He pointed out that even the trains that are currently in operation are witnessing around 30-40 per cent occupancy on an average, reflecting that the fear of the pandemic is still there.

Yadav said the railways is currently operating 1,089 special trains, while the Kolkata Metro is running 60 per cent of its services, the Mumbai suburban is running 88 per cent trains and 50 per cent of the Chennai suburban services are in operation.

Yadav said senior railway officials are closely monitoring the situation and normal train services will be resumed 'slowly' in a phased manner. PTI ASG RC