Millennium Post

Growth in rail passenger, freight transport; dip in accidents: Survey

New Delhi: The Indian Railways saw an increase in ferrying passengers by 1.85 per cent and also registered a growth of 5.34 per cent in transporting freight in 2018-19, while the consequential train accidents decreased to 41 as compared to 59 on the previous year, the Economic Survey 2019-20 said on Friday.

The survey was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. As per the pre-Budget survey, during the year 2018-19, Indian Railways carried 120 crore tonnes of freight and 840 crore passengers making it the world's largest passenger carrier and fourth largest freight carrier.

"Revenue earning freight loading by railways during 2018-19 was 12,215 lakh tonnes as against 11,596 lakh tonnes during 2017-18, registering an increase of 5.34 per cent," the survey said.

"Passengers originating was 84,390 lakh in 2018-19 as compared to 82,858 lakh in 2017-18, registering an increase of 1.85 per cent in 2018-19 over the previous year," it said.

The survey also highlighted that during 2018-19, consequential train accidents decreased from 73 to 59 in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year.

"In the year 2019-20 (April-October 2019), 41 consequential train accidents have occurred," it said.

The category-wise break-up of consequential train accidents shows that the incident of train collisions has come down to three in the year 2019-20 (up to October 2019) in Indian Railways and the incidents of derailment have decreased from 78 in 2016-17 to 46 in the year 2018-19 to 29 up to October 2019.

Even the accidents at the unmanned level crossing accidents fell to zero in October 2019 as compared to 20 in 2016-17, 10 in 2017-18, and three in 2018-19. The report also highlighted the number of fire incidents in the Indian Railways increased to seven by October 2019 as compared to total six incidents of fire in 2018-19.

About the cleanliness in the national transporter, the survey pointed out that the railways has launched special cleanliness campaigns under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Since October 2, 2014.

"The railways has been holding regular intensive campaigns since then with the sole objective to achieve significant and sustainable improvements in cleanliness standards," it said.

The survey said it has installed bio-toilets in over 2.26 lakh passenger coaches, mechanised cleaning of stations also grew to 940 stations up to October 31, 2019, as compared to 890 stations in 2018-19 while plastic bottle crushing machines installed at 215 stations up to October 31, 2019 as compared to 128 stations in 2018-19.

The railways also increased the amount for the cleanliness of stations drive to Rs 643 up to October 31, 2019 as compared to 643 crore in 2018-19.

The report further highlighted that the railways has identified 1,253 stations for development under Adarsh Station Scheme and are planned to be developed by 2019-20.

"A dedicated special purpose vehicle -- Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) Limited -- has been set up to carry out modernization of railway stations, which is working on modernization of many stations on public private partnership mode," it added.

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