Waltair division of East Coast Rly crosses 50-mt mark in goods traffic

The Waltair division of the East Coast Railway has crossed the 50-million tonne mark in cargo-handling for the first time during 2011-12 financial year, according to Mr N. Kashinath, Divisional Railway Manager.

Reviewing the performance here on Monday, he said the division had handled goods traffic of 50.80 million tonnes earning Rs 4,054 crore during 2011-12 against 48.27 mt and Rs 3,837.20 crore respectively during the previous financial year (2010-11). He said Waltair division was one of the six divisions in the country which had crossed the 50-million tonne mark.

However, he said, in spite of the impressive performance the target of 52 million tonnes in goods traffic could not be achieved by the division due mainly to two main reasons. “The Maoists are active in parts of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh and they are disrupting the iron ore traffic originating at Bailadilla mines and reaching Visakhapatnam. We have lost at least a million tonnes during the year due to the factor. An additional problem during the year was the 10-day-long rail roko at Jagadalpur, which resulted in the loss of at least a million tonnes more. Otherwise, we could have comfortably reached, and even crossed, the 52-million-tonne mark,” he said.

Surpassing target

He said the East Coast Railway as a whole — comprising Waltair, Khurda Road, and Sambalpur divisions — had handled 120.5 million tonnes of goods traffic, surpassing the target of 120 million tonnes. All other railway zones in the country had fallen short. Referring to passenger traffic, Mr Kashinath said the division had carried 31.72 million passengers earning Rs 281.18 crore during the year as against 29.33 million and Rs 264.96 crore respectively during the previous year. The total earnings of the division including sundry earnings during the year amounted to Rs 4,383.84 crore as against Rs 4,147.17 crore during the previous year.

Escalators

He said two escalators would be installed at the Visakhapatnam railway station in a few months’ time — one at platform No. one and the other at platform No. eight. The orders had been placed for the escalators. He said the number of platforms – eight – was sufficient at the station and more would be built in future depending on the need.

He said 78 special trains had been run during the year. The loading through Gangavaram port had shown an increase of 27.26 per cent during the year. After the completion of the expansion project of Visakhapatnam steel plant, there would be substantial jump in the goods traffic of the division, he added.

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