Rly passenger volume up by 1.85 pc, freight loading rose by 5.34 pc in 2018-2019: Eco Survey

New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) There has been an increase in passenger volume of Indian Railways by 1.85 per cent and a growth of 5.34 per cent in loading freight in 2018-19, the Economic Survey 2019-20 said on Friday.

The survey was tabled in Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who will present the Union Budget on Saturday.

As per the pre-Budget survey, during the year 2018-19, Indian Railways carried 120 crore tonnes of freight and 840 crore passengers making it the world's largest passenger carrier and fourth largest freight carrier.

'Revenue earning freight loading by railways during 2018-19 was 12,215 lakh tonnes as against 11,596 lakh tonnes during 2017-18, registering an increase of 5.34 per cent,' the survey said.

'Passengers originating was 84,390 lakh in 2018-19 as compared to 82,858 lakh in 2017-18, registering an increase of 1.85 per cent in 2018-19 over the previous year,' it said.

It also said that safety is accorded the highest priority by railways and steps are being undertaken on a continuous basis to prevent accidents and to enhance safety of the passengers.

During 2018-19, consequential train accidents decreased from 73 to 59 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. In the year 2019-20 (April - October 2019), 41 consequential train accidents have occurred, it said.

Commenting on the cleanliness parameters of the national transporter, the survey stated that for railways which covers over 8,700 stations and carries around 230 lakh passengers daily with clientele of varied socio-economic backgrounds, cleanliness was a continuous process.

'Every endeavour is made to keep the stations and coaches in properly maintained and clean condition. Special Cleanliness Campaigns under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan were launched by Indian Railways on October 2, 2014,' it said.

'Regular intensive campaigns/drives have been organised since then by the Indian Railways with the sole objective to achieve significant and sustainable improvements in cleanliness standards,' it said.

It said that 2,26,000 bio-toilets have been installed in coaches, 215 stations have been given bottle crushing machines, 1300 stations have been given rag picking contracts and Rs 643 crore have been allocated for station sanitation.

It also said that EMS (Environment Management System) (ISO:14001) certification of 75 railway stations have been received. PTI ASG RHL