Western Railway's scheduled essential supply trains begin journey

Updated: Apr 02, 2020, 14:09 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

The Parcel Express trains carry commodities such as Milk Product, Edible Oil, Spices, Groceries and Biscuits, dry grass etc which are essential amid Coronavirus lockdown

Essential items being loaded unto the first time tabled parcel express train of WR, which left from Kankariya to West Bengal on March 31, 2020. Picture/Rajendra B Alkekar
Essential items being loaded unto the first time tabled parcel express train of WR, which left from Kankariya to West Bengal on March 31, 2020. Picture/Rajendra B Alkekar

Two timetabled parcel express trains out of total three planned by Western Railway were respectively departed on March 31, 2020 from Kankaria in Ahmedabad to Sankrail goods terminal at West Bengal and on April 1, 2020 from Bandra Terminus to Ludhiana.

According to Ravinder Bhakar - Western Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway has ensured to maintain the regular supply of essential commodities across all parts of country through its freight trains.

To mitigate the difficulties to a certain extent, Western Railway decided to open transportation of essential items such as medical supplies, equipment, and food, etc & accordingly, time table of 3 Parcel Express trains was declared by Western Rly, making total 16 trips during the period from March 31 to April 15, 2020.

The Parcel Express trains carry commodities such as Milk Product, Edible Oil, Spices, Groceries and Biscuits, dry grass etc. 12 trips of the Parcel Special will run between Bandra Terminus & Ludhiana, 2 trips between Kankariya & Sankrail Goods terminal and 2 trips between Karambeli & Changsari. WR’s first timetabled Parcel special left from Kankariya in Ahmedabad to Sankrail goods terminal at West Bengal on March 31 ,2020. Since the lockdown period till now, from March 22 to  April 21, 2020, total 538 rakes have been used to supply essential commodities amounting to 1.11 million tonnes.

1369 freight trains were interchanged with other railways, including 682 trains handed over and 687 trains taken over at different interchange points. 9 Millennium Parcel rakes of Parcel Vans/Railway Milk Tankers (RMTs) have been sent to different parts of the country to cope with the demands of essential items such as milk powder, liquid milk, and other general consumer goods.

Bhakar stated that total losses over Western Railway up to March 31, 2020 has been pegged at Rs 207.11 Cr (inclusive of suburban+ non-suburban). However, Western Railway has also successfully refunded Rs 132.25 crores against cancellation of tickets and in Mumbai Division itself refund of Rs. 62.50 crores have been made.

Along with providing food for the people and transporting essential items for the masses, WR is involved in the preparation of masks and sanitisers and these are being made with proper approval from the doctors. Approx 215 liters of sanitisers were prepared in house. It is also appreciable that some of the railway employees went beyond their call of duty and during their spare time after work prepared 26645 cotton masks for the safety of people and the frontline staff.

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