NEW DELHI :
Indian Railways loaded and carried 36,724 wagons of foodgrain, 861 wagons of sugar, 1,753 wagons of salt, 606 wagons/tanks of edible oil and 14,317 wagons of fertilisers between April 1 and 12.
This was done to ensure that kitchens of all Indian homes ran normally and farmers in agriculture sector continue to get all necessary inputs for farming. Due to these efforts, farm products like food grains, sugar, salt and edible oil were picked up on time and timely supply of adequate quantity of fertilisers to farmers was ensured during the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19, an official statement here said.
The loading, transportation and unloading of these essential commodities has been in progress in full swing during the first 12 days of April 2020.Close coordination is being maintained with the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers for the movement and availability of fertilisers for the upcoming kharif season. Close association is being maintained with Ministry of Agriculture for foodgrains loading.
Indian Railways has also identified 63 routes for Parcel Special Trains since the start of the lockdown for perishable commodities including fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products and seeds for agriculture purpose. Till today, 63 routes have been notified and timetabled trains are being run on these routes.
The Parcel Specials have been planned to connect all the major cities of the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. In addition, proper connectivity has also been ensured to Guwahati, to ensure supplies in the North-eastern region of the country.
Trains are being run even on those routes where demand is less, so that no part of the country remains unconnected. Trains have been given en-route stoppages at all feasible locations, so that maximum possible clearance of parcels may be done.
All the State Mission Directors and concerned Secretaries of States/UTs have been requested to mobilise all their resources to take advantage of these trains being run by Railways. Addl. Member (Commercial) Railway Board has offered that if they receive any demand from States regarding new routes or stoppage, they will immediately take necessary action to do needful.
A list of all Pr CCMs/ Chief Commercial Managers of different zones, procedure of booking, time table of these Special Trains and a freight calculator have also been shared with all the officers for sharing and wider publicity.