Mysore/Mysuru: The role of Indian Railways in transportation of essential commodities, especially food grains, has been the single biggest factor in bridging the surplus and deficiency divide across the country during the lockdown.
The Railways have once again proven that the system indeed is the lifeline of the nation and more so in crisis situations. With truck movement having virtually collapsed, the Railways have been successful in maintaining continuity in supply chain despite many hurdles along the way principally brought about by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Railways (MoR) have announced a slew of measures for freight traffic during this period like non-levy of demurrage, wharfage and other ancillary charges, relaxations in distance-related conditions, reduction in the minimum number of wagons to avail concession in freight rates, non-levy of haulage charges for movement of empty containers, provision of the facility for registration of demand for wagons and issue of railway receipts electronically, etc. are all aimed at attracting more freight traffic.
Meticulous planning and constant coordination of Operations and Commercial Department officials of Mysuru Railway Division with the representatives of Food Corporation of India (FCI) at the highest level have greatly helped in efficient management of freight terminals at Mysuru, Shivamogga Town, Hassan, Chitradurga and others.
Since the lockdown, Mysuru Division has handled over 157 rakes of freight traffic comprising 5,825 wagons with an overall tonnage of 3.62 lakhs. While essential commodities like rice, wheat, potato seeds and petroleum products formed 60% of the total wagons handled, fertilizers, cement, coal and slag accounted for the rest with lion’s share for rice at 2,539 wagons.
Aparna Garg, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), South Western Railway (SWR), Mysuru Division, has lauded the efforts of the dedicated staff of Mysuru Division for overcoming supply chain challenges thereby ensuring smooth movement of essential commodities.
She has instructed senior officials of the Division to provide all possible assistance to freight customers offering traffic of essential commodities so as to keep the supply chain intact.
She also underscored the importance of safety in train operations and called for a higher degree of vigil in maintenance of critical assets of the Railways like tracks, bridges, signalling and telecommunication equipment with zero tolerance for mishaps, according to a press release from Priya Shetty, Divisional Commercial Manager & PRO, Mysuru Division.