The Railways is wooing non-coal customers such as Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, RINL, Container Corporation of India, NALCO and Hindalco, among others, to bring more cargo and boost revenue.
The Railways gets two-thirds of its revenue from freight, and half of this comes from coal. “This year, we have stiff targets for ourselves. We have done 90 million tonnes of “other-than-coal traffic, 10 million tonnes lower than the 100 million tonnes. But, we have to complete 490 million tonnes in the remaining period,” MY Jamshed, Member (Traffic), Railways, said at an interactive stakeholders’ session here.
He said the response from customers was being seen as ‘green shoots’, though there was potential for attracting more cargo.
With India’s adoption of non-renewable energy such as solar power, the availability of coal will be lower. “We are aware that small issues take long time to solve, as a result of which customers lose trust in the Railways…We assure that all the good suggestions will be adopted,” said Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways.
“We have been taxing (freight) customers beyond capacity. Many argue there is scope for further reduction. But we have to look at the survival of the Railways…,” Railway Minster Suresh Prabhu said, adding that there was need for a ‘trade-off’.
“All of you, (being) heads of your businesses, are also citizens of the country,” Prabhu said, urging them to think of the country’s development, while thinking of their company’s growth.
The Railways is trying to walk the extra mile to meet your expectations, he said, adding: “We have started running time-tabled freight trains…Concor will tell you the train reached in 57 hours against the anticipated 70,” he added.