Railways has achieved positive growth for the 2016-17 fiscal with 70 million more passengers travelling in trains than last year, breaking a five-year jinx of negative growth in the passenger sector. Since 2012, booking of passenger tickets had witnessed a decline due to various reasons. “However, with concerted efforts, we have managed to buck the trend since 2012 and achieved a positive growth for the year 2016-17,” Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed told PTI.
Railways has initiated several initiatives in the 2016-17 fiscal to carry more passengers by pressing 87 new train services including Humsafar Express, and Antodaya trains. Many train services were extended and frequencies of certain trains were also increased to cater to the demand of passengers. Besides, 586 additional coaches were added in regular trains, generating an extra capacity of 43,420 berths by the last fiscal ending March 31, 2017. Jamshed said about 31,438 special trips were run to cater to extra rush, holiday travellers and election/paramilitary movements.
The 2016-17 fiscal also saw seeding up of 350 trains and 74 trains were made superfast service. Another significant achievement of the last fiscal is that railways detected 9.75 lakh cases of ticket-less travel which is 6 per cent higher over the previous year.
As a result of increased number of passengers bookings, railways earned Rs 1,906 crore more than the previous year in passenger sector.