GUWAHATI, Dec 2 – Boosted by transportation of mineral oil and coal, the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has registered an over 17 per cent jump in its year-on-year cumulative revenue earnings from freight traffic during the first half of the current fiscal.
NFR’s revenue earnings from freight traffic touched Rs 746.26 crore during April-September this year compared to Rs 637.15 crore in the year-ago period, resulting in a growth of 17.12 per cent.
During the period under review, the commodity-wise freight traffic also went up by over 10 per cent on an annual basis to 5.95 million tonnes from 5.40 million tonnes in the comparative period of 2013-14.
As per the data, mineral oil and coal, along with food grains, formed the biggest component of freight traffic of the NFR zone.
In the first half of this fiscal, NFR earned Rs 264.75 crore from transportation of 1.77 million tonnes of mineral oil (petroleum oil and lubricants), followed by Rs 153.23 crore from transportation of 0.71 million tonnes of coal and Rs 131.14 crore from 1.12 million tonnes of food grains.
Besides, it also earned Rs 53 crore from 0.50 million tonnes of raw materials for steel plants, Rs 25.18 crore from 0.26 million tonnes of cement, Rs 11.76 crore from transportation of 0.17 million tonnes of fertilizers, Rs 13.04 crore from 0.06 million tonnes of container service and Rs 94.16 crore from 1.36 million tonnes of other goods.
It is noteworthy that in the first six months of 2013-14, the year-on-year revenue earnings from freight traffic had declined by around four per cent than in 2012-13.
Overall, in the first half of current 2014-15 fiscal, Indian Railways’ cumulative revenue earnings touched Rs 48,062 crore, a rise of 10.59 per cent on an annual basis.
“The Parcel Cargo Express Service introduced earlier this week has boosted freight traffic in the NFR zone. Besides, the big jump can be attributed to the low base of last year,” said an expert.
He added that freight traffic and earnings from it can receive further fillip with expansion of the rail network to Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
“Besides, if the Railway Ministry earnestly takes up work on double-tracking the network it will be a win-win for both the Indian Railways as well as the local economy,” said the expert.
It needs to be mentioned that the Centre announced Rs 28,000 crore for boosting the railway network in North East during this year’s Budget and the new NDA regime has announced that expansion of railways in the region is among its topmost priorities.