Ministry of Railways has implemented freight policies to attract and facilitate freight customers. To achieve this goal, customers are being made aware that transportation by rail is not just economical, but also environment friendly.
In line with this, Western Railway is also implementing various initiatives to make transportation and booking freight by rail, more customer oriented. Earlier, Western Railway, has set up multi -disciplinary Business Development Units (BDU) at Zonal Headquarters and its Divisional Units. These BDUs have been set up to improve business prospects in freight market by incorporating new ideas and initiatives. Based on the feedback from BDUs, these incentives have been implemented which will help to increase freight transportation, as well as are also beneficial to the freight customers.
Western Rly has now implemented nine more incentive schemes to attract freight transporters. These are in addition to the earlier 19 incentives that are already being offered.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Sumit Thakur, these Freight Incentive Schemes are being implemented to provide ease of business to customers and to garner additional volume of traffic and revenue to the Railways. In the recent past too, various incentives have been provided to the freight transporters, with the latest being advance booking of 120 days.
In continuation to this, additional schemes and relaxation in rules are being provided to attract freight transportation. Here are the latest major schemes & relaxations introduced for transportation of goods through Railways :-
1). Delegation of powers to Divisional Railway Managers :
Divisional Railway Managers have been now authorized to permit installation of Weigh Bridges by private party at Goods sheds and by private siding owner on railway land. Earlier the proposals were approved at Zonal level.
2). Liberalization of Traditional Empty Flow Direction (TEFD) scheme :
To further liberalize automatic freight rebate under Traditional Empty Flow Direction scheme under which the charging is done by reduced class for the notified directions, the criteria for minimum number of wagons have been reduced for various wagons.
3). Mini rake of minimum 20 wagons in Covered stock loading :
Parties having traffic of less than a full rake have been provided with facility to avail concept of Minirake through which minimum 20 wagons in covered stock can be loaded with facility of charging under train load classification upto 1500 Kms. For destinations beyond 1500 Kms, a nominal additional supplementary surcharge would be payable.
4).Relaxation in penal provisions for weighment/overloading :
Detention charge of Rs.5000/- per overloaded wagon detected at the time of weighment has been withdrawn at originating point if load adjustment is carried out in the overloaded wagons at originating point itself. Punitive charge for overload detection during weighment at intermediate point beyond point of detection has been withdrawn if load adjustment is carried out in the overloaded wagons at the point of detection itself. However, punitive charge is applicable for the travelled portion with overloading i.e. till point of detection.
5).Free hours Debit/credit system for private siding customers :
The policy is customer specific and available to customers offering traffic from siding and who has offered One Million Traffic per annum. The party has to approach Principal Chief Commercial Manager of the concerned Railway. The customer will get 100% credit for all the hours saved in the permissible free time for loading or unloading operation. The credit hours will be adjusted on monthly basis against debit hours for same type of stock and operation i.e. loading or unloading. No refund will be provided for credit hours. The credit/debit hours after the adjustment for the month will not be carried forward. At the end of month demurrage charges on net debit hours will be levied. The scheme is valid from 01.10.2020 for a period of one year.
6).Free hours enhancement for loading of bagged consignment in open wagons :
Free hours for loading bagged consignment in open wagons have been enhanced from existing 3 hours to 6 hours for sidings/ terminals/ goods sheds working on Engine on Load (EOL) basis. The relaxation is valid from 01.10.2020 to 31.03.2021.
7).Issue of Money receipts in the name of handling agents for freight customers :
Facility for issue of money receipts in the name of handling agents for payment of charges other than freight payment on behalf of freight customer has been provided. For availing this benefit, the freight customer has to submit an affidavit of the concern to Railway, authorizing the agent to make payment of ancillary charges (Demurrage and wharfage charges etc.) and customer will continue to bear with all liabilities including legal for charges raised against him.
8. Relaxation in BCNHL rake composition for train load benefit :
Trainload benefit in BCNHL rakes should incur in case loaded upto 42 wagons. i.e. Minimum composition of BCNHL has been revised from 57 to 42, granting relaxation for getting trainload charging benefit. The customers will be provided train load benefit even on loading 42 BCNHL wagons instead of mandating requirement to load 57 BCNHL wagons. However the standard rake composition shall continue to be 58 wagons. The relaxation has been extended upto 31.12.2020.
9. Distance between two point destinations :
The loading for two point destination terminals was earlier with condition that the two destination terminals should not be more than 400 kms apart in lean season and 200 kms apart in busy season. For loading from two point originating terminals, it should also not be more than 200 kms apart. The mandatory distance between two point destination terminals has been relaxed to 500 kms uniformly for entire year without differentiation of seasons or for any stream whether two point destination or two originating terminals. The validity has been extended up to 31.12.2020.
Thakur stated that in addition to the earlier freight incentives schemes implemented for the benefit of freight customers, these additional freight incentives will definitely play a vital role in boosting the freight traffic over Western Railway.