Goyal meets top brass of coal, power sectors to consolidate rlys' coal biz

Coal accounts for almost 50 per cent of the freight of the railways

Union railways and commerce minister Piyush Goyal

Union Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal met the top leadership of the coal and power sectors on Monday to ensure consolidation of the coal business of the railways and suggest ways and means to further improve the joint operational productivity of all stakeholders, the railway ministry said in a statement.

Coal accounts for almost 50 per cent of the freight of the railways. Last year, the loading of coal was 587 MT of the total freight of 1,210 MT.

The secretaries of the power and coal ministries, the chairman and CEO of the Railway Board, the heads of CIL, NTPC, Singareni, MCL, SECL, CCL, NCL, WCL, ECL, BCCL, NEC and SCCL participated in the meeting to review the freight operations company wise.

Speaking at the meeting, Goyal said the railways is making relentless efforts to boost freight loading and there is no scope of any slippage on any front. He called for coordinated operations among the railways and the coal and power entities to ensure the maximum mutual growth of all the three sectors.

It may be noted that in a turnaround, in September, the Indian Railways earned Rs 9,896.86 crore from freight loading, which is Rs 1,180.57 crore higher than last year's earnings for the same period (Rs 8,716.29 crore).

The increase in freight revenue has been 13.54 per cent.

"There is a great a potential to further enhance loading of coal. An increase in coal loading will have a significant positive impact on the railways' freight revenues. The railways is now going all out to overtake last year's figures on a cumulative basis as well, in spite of COVID-related challenges and long lockdowns," the statement said.

Freight loading in September has been 15.3 per cent more than last year for the same period.

The minister also said the national transporter has taken a slew of measures such as introducing more than 25 policy initiatives, including the formation of business development units at zonal levels, running specialised parcel and "kisan" trains.