Among the passenger trains that are currently being operated by Western Railways, some of the trains are running with only 10 per cent occupancy.
The Western Railway zone of Indian Railways is facing an annual revenue loss of around Rs 5,000 crore due to the COVID-19 pandemic. General Manager of Western Railways, Alok Kansal was recently quoted in a PTI report saying that many people are still reluctant to travel by train due to fear of novel coronavirus. The zonal railway is incurring an annual revenue loss of Rs 5,000 crore in the passenger trains segment due to the coronavirus pandemic, which affected passenger train services and led to a drop in the number of railway travellers. Among the passenger trains that are currently being operated by Western Railways, some of the trains are running with only 10 per cent occupancy, the GM said.
According to Kansal, before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Western Railway zone used to operate about 300 passenger trains. But to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, the government stopped passenger train operations across the country in March last year. He further said now the operation of passenger trains is coming back on track and this is likely to improve the zone’s revenue. Western Railways, during the last 11 months, has gradually restarted 145 trains out of its 300 passenger trains. Thus, about 50 per cent of the zonal railways’ passenger trains have been resumed, he said.
The Western Railway zone is going to restart six more passenger trains in the next seven days, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the GM said. He further clarified that at present, Western Railways is running its passenger trains as special trains in view of the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, and only those carrying reserved train tickets are allowed to travel. Last year, during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Western Railway zone ran as many as 1,234 Shramik Special trains services from May 1 to 31 to ferry nearly 19 lakh people to their destinations in various states, the GM added.