Ore export ban: SWR registers loss in freight earnings

Originating passenger earnings have increased by 7.45 per cent

The South Western Railway (SWR) registered a financial loss of nearly 21.59 per cent through freight earnings during the past nine months of the current fiscal due to the ban on iron ore export, said SWR General Manager K Mittal.

Addressing a gathering at the Republic Day celebration, Mittal said: “The number of passengers carried has gone up from 12.896 crore to 13.943 crore, registering an increase of 8.12 per cent.

The originating passenger earnings has increased approximately by 7.45 per cent from Rs 783.30 crore to Rs 841.65 crore. However, the trend is not encouraging on freight side.

Due to the ban imposed on iron ore export by the State government, SWR could transport only 23.8 Million Tonnes of freight during the first nine months of this fiscal, as against 25.6 Million Tonnes carried during the previous year. As a result, the originating freight earnings up to last December, is approximately Rs 1,658.82 crore which is 21.59 per cent less than the previous year earnings during the same period.”

Information technology is being used to provide passenger amenities by installing audio video enquiry terminals, digital display boards and coach locating guiding system. For easy availability of tickets, Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) has been extended to cover 231 stations and reserved tickets can now be obtained from 131 locations.

In addition to this, 15 Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sevak (JTBS) have been appointed in the current year to issue unreserved tickets to passengers. The total number of JTBS have now increased to 47, he said.

Nine pairs of new trains have already been introduced this year besides increasing the frequency of two trains and extension of services of four trains. As many as 4,303 special trains were run and 5,402 extra coaches were attached between April and December last year to clear passenger rush. The SWR also achieved punctuality of 94.5 per cent surpassing target of 90 per cent set by Railway Board during the year, he added.

He said to provide good quality food at reasonable price, ‘Jan Ahar’ outlets have been commissioned at Yeshvantpur, Bangalore City and Hubli Railway stations, besides six ‘Rail Ahar’ outlets, three at Bangalore City, two at Hubli and one at Bangalore Cantonment station, he added.

The SWR was stressing on improvement of infrastructure and line capacity on various sections. During the current financial year, 18 km of new line, 61 km of gauge conversion and 31 km of doubling are set for completion.

Work on 18 km of new line between Sakrayapatna and Kanivehalli has been completed. Gauge conversion of Shimoga-Talguppa has been completed with the commissioning of 40 km stretch between Anandapuram-Talguppa section. The double line of 22 km between Arsikere and Devanur has also been commissioned, he added.

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