A total of 3,882 tonnes of industrial salt was loaded by the national transporter in 58 open wagons.
In a first, Indian Railways’ Rajkot division, which falls under the Western Railway zone has flagged off its first goods train carrying industrial salt of 3,882 tonnes, in bulk form Wavaniya railway station near Maliya in Morbi district. A total of 3,882 tonnes of industrial salt was loaded by the national transporter in 58 open wagons. With the help of this train, the salt with be transported to Renukut, 1,588 kilometres away, according to an IE report. According to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, this is the beginning of a new traffic stream. The new traffic stream will pave the way for swift, convenient, along with cost-effective transportation of varied freight, he stated.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Rajkot, Parmeshwar Funkwal was quoted in the report saying that so far, the national transporter used to transport industrial salt but only in packed form. However, after forming the Business Development Unit (BDU), a meeting was held by Western Railways with its freight customers on June 4, and allowing industrial salt loading in bulk was one of the suggestions. The Railway Board approved the suggestion, and the first rake carrying industrial salt in bulk departed from Wavaniya station, he said.
Following the meeting with freight customers, the Western Railway zone sent a proposal to the Railway Board for reclassification of industrial salt as an item falling under the goods’ category 110-A instead of its previous classification, falling in category 120. According to Funkwal, this reclassification has two advantages for customers. The first advantage is, it allows bulk loading of salt and therefore, saves loading cost. The second advantage is, the freight rate goes down by around 20% due to lower classification.
After the COVID-19 lockdown, every division of the Western Railway zone has formed a BDU with an aim to attract new traffic as well as to streamline existing traffic streams. In an attempt to attract the national transporter, for the goods that are otherwise transported by road, the railways is in constant consultation with salt producers, tile manufacturers of Morbi and Agricultural Produce Market Committees, Funkwal said. According to Western Railways, Jaydeep Chem Food Private Limited loaded the salt for delivery to Grasim Industries Limited. It is being said that the maiden rake will earn the zone’s Rajkot division a freight revenue of Rs 60.27 lakh. Other than Wavaniya, the Rajkot division of Western Railways loads salt from Lavanpur and edible salt from Mithapur, located in Devbhoomi Dwarka district, the report added.