Freight sop boostsrail cargo traffic

Coal comprises over 60 per cent of the cargo handled by Eastern Railways



Concessions have pushed up overall freight loading for Eastern Railways, which has set its sight to surpass the target of 69 million tonnes for 2020-21. Coal comprises over 60 per cent of the cargo handled by Eastern Railways. The Railway Board had earlier decided to offer a 15-20 per cent concession on coal, iron ore and steel over long distances.

For short-distance traffic, the concessions range from 10-50 per cent, except coal and iron ore. While the railways is considering more sops, carrying coal over shorter distances such as less than 100 km is unlikely to be viable. With barely any passenger traffic, Eastern Railways is gradually picking up freight loading since June.

"April and May were lean  periods for us. From June, we have seen a growth in freight loading. August was on a par with last year as some of the coal mines were flooded.

With industry picking up, the numbers are expected to go up and we expect to surpass the target for the year," said Suneet Sharma, general manager, Eastern Railways.

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