The Indian Railways marked its second consecutive month of tepid growth in November.
The national carrier which was witnessing freight growth upwards of 8-9 percent every month this financial year (2022-23, or FY23), carried 123.9 million tonnes (mt) of goods during November, registering a 5 percent increase against last year, according to the provisional data furnished by the Ministry of Railways.
“On a cumulative basis from April-November, freight loading of 978.72 mt was achieved against last year’s loading of 903.16 mt during the same period — an improvement of 8 percent. The Railways has earned Rs 1.05 trillion, against Rs 91,127 crore over the past year — an improvement of 16 percent, compared with the same period of last year,” said the ministry.
The national transporter in October witnessed its freight loading grow at a meagre 1 percent, owing to slowdowns in some of the biggest items in its basket — coal, iron ore, and containers.
Commodity-wise data for November has not been made available yet.
As per railway officials, the growth in the past two months has been lower than expected, and the ministry may end FY23 ferrying 1,500-1,550 mt of goods if the current trends persist.
This is against an internal target of 1,700 mt, which was widely understood as aspirational.
“The Railways is leveraging its renewed rolling stock, but the current track network can only provide for so much growth. New corridors will play a crucial role in freight growth,” said a senior official.
As reported earlier, the national transporter is eyeing new coal connectivity projects worth Rs 94,153 crore as part of its energy corridor program.