India recently completed one year of Covid-19 lockdown in the country. It was the most challenging year for the Indian Railways, according to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
In a review meeting with the board members and general managers of zonal railways and divisional railway managers of divisions on Saturday, Goyal said, “The year was the most challenging year for Railways.”
India had imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 last year to limit the spread of Coronavirus infections in the country. The Indian Railways also suspended the operation of passenger trains following the enforced nationwide lockdown. Though some passenger trains have been started, full resumption of passenger train service is still some time away due to the demand.
“One year of lockdown. Covid-19 has demonstrated the resolve of Railways to fight back and emerge stronger. The mindset of Railways has transformed. It’s no longer business as usual for Railways. Use of new technologies and innovation has created new standards and benchmarks,” Goyal said.
Goyal praised Railway officers and staff for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic to increase loading. He, however, asked workers to strictly follow the safety measures and directed officials to take proactive steps towards the same.
It is to be noted that Indian Railways has continued to maintain the high momentum in freight figures in terms of loading, earning, and speed in March. Indian Railways is expected to cross the total cumulative freight figures of last year. Indian Railways’ freight revenue for 2020-21 grew 2% to Rs 1,14,652.47 crore against Rs 1,12,358.83 in the previous year.