Bhubaneswar: Despite lockdown and coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Railways has ensured uninterrupted supply of essential commodities throughout the country. In essential commodities, Indian Railways carried food grains, fruits & vegetables, milk products, edible oil, sugar and salt, medical equipments & medicine, PPE Kits and other grocery items, etc, apart from fertilizer, petroleum products, coal, etc.
From 22nd March to 30th June, 2020; i.e. for 101 days; East Coast Railway (ECoR) carried 27.06 Million Tonnes of coal in 7100 trains from its jurisdiction. Out of this, 16.14 Million Tonnes of indigenous coal from Talcher area in 4157 trains and 10.92 Million Tonnes of imported coal from different ports under ECoR jurisdiction were transported to various power houses and industries across the country.
Keeping in view the importance of food grains, East Coast Railway has taken it as a challenge and ensured continuous supply towards different destinations. During this period, East Coast Railway carried 0.95 Million Tonnes of food grains, especially rice to different States like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand etc. by utilising 333 number of trains.
Apart from this, 1.20 Million Tonnes of fertilizer to States like UP, Bihar, West Bengal etc. in 470 trains and 279 trains of petroleum products were transported from ECoR jurisdiction towards various places. 1268 trains of iron ore, 895 trains of iron & steel products, 41 trains of cement were also loaded for various destinations. Altogether, East Coast Railway carried 45.80 Million Tonnes of freight during lock down, i.e. from 22nd March to 30th June, 2020 by utilizing 12,680 trains.
In the first quarter of 2020-21, ECoR loaded about 42 Million Tonnes which is more than 82%, that of the last year in the same period. Amongst all the zones of Indian Railways, ECoR loaded the highest freight traffic during this period. This was achieved in spite of Lockdown during this entire period.
East Coast Railway gives full credit for this achievement to its hardworking and dedicated staff in all its three divisions and efforts from all stakeholders including collieries, ports, steel plants, cement, Alumina plants, petroleum companies and Food Corporation of India. Various state governments also provided necessary cooperation during this crisis time of COVID-19, whenever needed.