'No definite date for normal train services resumption'

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

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

Representative image/Credit: PTI File Photo

Indian Railways on Friday said it is not possible to provide a definite date for the resumption of normal train services but zonal officers are in touch with state governments to start more train services.

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

Yadav also said the railways saw an 87-per cent drop in the earnings from the passenger segment so far this year, compared to the last year due to suspension of train services.

However, he said the earnings from freight loading has been encouraging. By December, the national transporter had already achieved 97 per cent of last year's loading.

"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," he said.

Addressing a press conference, he 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.

"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% less than last year," Mr Yadav said.

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

At present, Railways is operating 1,089 special trains, while the Kolkata Metro is running 60 per cent of its services, the Mumbai suburban is running 88% trains and 50% of the Chennai suburban services are in operation.

Senior railway officials are closely monitoring the situation and normal train services will be resumed in a slow but phased manner, he said.