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Opinion

‘Railways to Cover Operating Expenses from Profits Despite Covid-19’ – Chairman of the Board

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Indian Railways is ready to cover its operating expenses despite having suffered a significant loss through passenger revenue this year, rail board chairman and chief executive VK Yadav said on Saturday.

The domestic carrier has incurred an 87 percent loss in passenger revenue, down from Rs 53,000 crore last year to just Rs 4,600 crore, due to the suspension of regular passenger trains due to the Covid-19 pandemic. .

“This year has been a ‘Year of Determination and Victory’ for Indian Railways. Faced with unprecedented and daunting challenges related to Covid, under the guidance and vision of PM, Indian Railways has not only been able to keep the national supply chain running and move millions of people back home in the most adverse circumstances, but which has also been able to usher in unprecedented growth in infrastructure development, innovation, network capacity expansion, load diversification, and transparency. Railways has used the Covid challenge as an opportunity to lay the foundation for future development and the next level of travel experience for passengers, ”the ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Yadav said he expects an increase in freight revenue, offset by improved transportation of non-traditional products such as food grains and fertilizers.

“Due to various cost control measures and gains from freight revenue, we will be able to offset the loss of revenue from the passenger segment,” Yadav told a news conference.

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“So far, the railways have spent 12% less than last year. We have controlled our expenses and are saving fuel and inventory. Despite Covid, we will cover our operating expenses with our revenues … We have almost exceeded our freight and freight revenues from last year. So this year’s revenue would be higher than last year’s from freight, ”he said.

The president said that the railways’ greatest achievements this year was that they managed to maintain the supply line of essential commodities, transported more than 60 lakh of migrant workers via Shramik Special trains.

He added that the ministry has also managed to clear the backlog of all maintenance and security work.

Speaking about the bullet train project, Yadav said the Maharashtra government has assured the ministry that it will provide the necessary authorizations for the remaining part that is in the state in the next four months. So far, 68% of the land has been acquired for the project.

“Once this is done, we can start working on the entire line and then the bullet train from both states can be put into service together. We will get a full picture over the next four months and then decide whether the commissioning will be done in phases or all at once. However, if the acquisition of Maharashtra land is delayed, a 325-kilometer stretch to Vapi will be put into service. The decision will be made in four months, ”he said.

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