GUWAHATI, Aug 21 - Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway has suffered monetary losses to the tune of over Rs 37 crore during the last eight days due to disruption of train services from and to this region and other parts of India following the heavy floods in eastern Bihar which inundated tracks and also led to incidents of collapse of bridges.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune today, Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NFR said that besides loss from disruption in passenger service and freight traffic, the zonal railway has also given refund worth Rs 425 crore to passengers in the last eight days whose trains were cancelled.
On an average, 34 long-distance trains are interchanged to and from the NFR zone to other parts of the country every day.
The average number of passengers in each train is approximately 1,800.
“Since rail connectivity between this region and the rest of the country got snapped on August 13, many trains had to be cancelled. So far, 393 mail and express trains and another 284 passenger trains have been cancelled,” said Sharma.
NFR has so far incurred a total loss of Rs 23.77 crore in PRS earnings and Rs 2.66 crore from non-PRS earnings. In addition, the loss from the ticket checking segment has been estimated at Rs 72.05 lakh. During the last eight days 2,01,326 PRS berths and 5,63,638 non-PRS berths have been affected due to cancellations. With the rail link remaining snapped for such a prolonged period, the loss from the freight segment has also been substantial.
So far, the loss in goods traffic has been Rs 8.13 crore, while Rs 1.75 crore has been lost in parcel service.
Inward-bound goods to this region are also stuck up at various places due to severing of the rail link.
During any average month, 6.3 million tonnes (MT) of goods are inducted in the NFR zone from other parts of the country. “Every month around 630 rakes come into the NFR zone from outside,” said Sharma.
He added that all efforts are being made to ensure that restoration work could be completed as soon as possible. However, with the Railway Ministry already stating that services are unlikely to return to normalcy before August 28, experts believe that losses for the NFR zone could mount further.
“There is likelihood that the balance sheet at the end of this fiscal will not look very good for the zone. In addition, disruption in passenger traffic has also caused major problems for the common people. However, the intensity of the floods in eastern Bihar this time was so severe that we were simply overwhelmed and there was nothing that could be done,” said an official on condition of anonymity.