With regular passenger trains yet to resume after the lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vadodara Division of the Western Railway (WR) plans to reach out to industries to increase its revenue from freight services, which make up over 60% of the revenue.
In a web interaction on Friday, Divisional Railway Manager Devendra Kumar said plans were to use its multi-disciplinary Business Development Unit, which was recently created under the Ministry of Railways to promote freight and cargo services among industries around Vadodara.
The Business Development Unit (BDU), formed by officers from Operating, Commercial, Finance and Mechanical departments in Vadodara Division of the Western Railway, will liaison with trade and industries, Kumar said. This year, till July, Vadodara Division generated Rs 8.35 crore revenue from passenger traffic, Rs 395.97 crore from goods traffic and Rs 2.64 crore other revenue.
“New traffic of gypsum (from Vadodara Yard), PPE containers (from Dahej), rock phosphate, edible oil from KRIL – PFT, Hazira and imported MOP fertiliser from Dahej started recently…,” a release said.
The division is expecting its freight marketing to ensure that loading of motor vehicles from Champaner may start after November this year.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Kumar said the BDU will reach out to industries in a planned manner, something that the railways has not done in the past.
“Earlier, customers who needed freight services would come to the railways, but now we are reaching out to them… we can club various consignments and expand the avenues for the same,” he said.
The WR is expecting to pick up rock phosphate by manufacturing firms in Gujarat as well as neem-coated urea to add to its freight service.
“Work on goods sheds at Ranoli, Nadiad and Godhra was done during the lockdown along with the maintenance of regular tracks,” Kumar said.
A total of 13,842 quintals of essential commodities were loaded till July through parcel special trains from Vadodara, the release said.
Last week, an automatic Coach Washing Plant was commissioned in MEMU car shed in Vadodara. It will not only save water but also cut cost by over Rs 25 lakh per annum, the release said.
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