Railways take the lead in essential supply with freight and parcel trains

NEW DELHI: They have taken the initiative to ensure that basic products reach all parts of the country during the Covid-19 crisis. In the last three days, the number of loaded wagons experienced a marginal increase than that of the first three days of closure.

The Ministry of Railways said on Thursday that more than 1.43 lakh of freight wagons were loaded in the last three days (from March 30 to April 1) of which 76,687 wagons transported essential products. During the first three days of closure, the railways had loaded 74,848 wagons of basic products.

While freight trains carry food grains, fruits and vegetables, salt, fertilizers, coal, and petroleum products, the recently launched special parcel trains have been complemented by efforts to adequately supply other commodities.

For example, of the 30 special parcel trains that were pressured to service 10 transported milk and dairy products, while some of the trains transported seeds and dry grass in addition to miscellaneous items.

For example, a train package from Palampur on milk transported to Palawal; one of those trains carried dry grass from Palghar to Jammu and a train of agricultural seeds came from Salem to Hisar. Similarly, a train package from Chennai to Nagarcoil carried medicine.

All of the railways prepared to meet state government demands for parcel trains for short-distance movement within the state, the rail ministry said.

Meanwhile, in an official statement, the railways said that between Monday and Wednesday, the railways transported 7,195 food grain cars, 64,567 coal cars, 3,314 steel cars, and 3,838 oil products cars.

The role of railways in the transport of food grains was also recognized by the Union Minister for Food and Consumption. Ram Vilas Paswan , who was previously minister of railways.

Seeing the success of parcel trains, the railways have planned 10 routes for parcel trains with fixed schedules and another 18 new routes are planned for special parcel trains to keep supply chains running.