The Indian Railways did not take adequate steps to put in place infrastructural and other arrangements for improvement in parcel services, which was estimated to grow from Rs 1,644 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 8,000 crore in 2019-2020, the CAG said in a report today. “During 2013-2014 to 2015-2016 though the parcel earnings increased by 11.4 per cent, the tonnage carried in parcels declined by 6.2 per cent during the same period except in the Northern Railways and Northeast Frontier Railway. “This indicated that the overall increase in earnings was due to increase in the tariff and not on account of increase in volume of parcel business,” the report said. As of now, the share of the Railways’ revenue from parcel traffic is about four per cent, stagnating at Rs 1,800-2,000 crore in the past few years. The report also stated that for non-leased traffic, zonal railways carried parcels beyond their intended destinations in a significant number of cases.
In the two months test checked, railways transported 13,565 “over-carried” parcels back to their original destinations. “It can be seen that the share of earning from leased parcels which was 46 per cent of the total parcel earnings of Indian Railways in 2013-2014, declined to 41 per cent in 2015 -2016. Considering that there has been a decline in parcel traffic carried by IR in tonnage terms, there is need to provide impetus to parcel business…,” the audit stated. The report also said adequate arrangements were not made by the railways for weighing of leased parcel traffic. Response for booking of leased parcel traffic was inadequate and leasing space remained grossly unutilized, it added. “Leased traffic services suffered from lack of customer friendliness and from maladies like delays in internal processes and deficiencies in decision making,” the report said.