Subrat Kumar Sarangi
Bhubaneswar (NVI): The East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone has carried 48.50 million tonnes (MT) of freight during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, from March 22 to June 30, by utilising 12,680 trains.
According to an official statement, ECoR has loaded the highest freight traffic during the 101-day lockdown period.
It has carried 27.06 million tonnes of coal in 7,100 trains from its jurisdiction, said a railways official.
Out of this, 16.14 million tonnes of indigenous coal was loaded from Talcher area in 4,157 trains and 10.92 million tonnes of imported coal from different ports under ECoR jurisdiction was transported to various powerhouses and industries across the country.
Apart from that, ECoR carried 0.95 million tonnes of food grains, especially rice to different states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand etc by utilising 333 trains.
1.20 million tonnes of fertilizer was transported to states like UP, Bihar, West Bengal in 470 trains and 279 trains of petroleum products were transported from ECOR jurisdiction towards various places, the statement said.
1268 trains of iron ore, 895 trains of iron and steel products, 41 trains of cement packets were also loaded for various destinations.
In the first financial quarter of 2020-21, the ECoR loaded about 42 million tonnes which is more than 82 per cent, 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, the official claimed, adding that this was achieved in spite of the lockdown during this entire period.
The statement further said that, various state governments also provided necessary cooperation during this COVID-19, whenever needed.
In essential commodities, Indian Railways carried food grains, fruits and vegetables, milk products, edible oil, sugar and salt, medical equipment and medicine, PPE Kits and other grocery items apart from fertilizer, petroleum products and coal and others.