As the entire world is fighting to control spread of corona pandemic in its own way, India too is making all possible efforts and ensuring to fight with corona infection at various levels. However, in such an unpleasant atmosphere, Western Rly has taken a unique initiative in providing transportation of essential commodities to various destinations of the country by running timetabled parcel special trains originating from various stations of WR.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, one more parcel special train with two trips has been announced by WR to run between Kankaria and Bhimsen. Train No 00939 Kankaria – Bhimsen parcel special train will leave from Kankaria at 22.00 hrs on 22nd April, 2020 and reach Bhimsen at 17.00 hrs the next day. Similarly, Train No 00940 will leave Bhimsen on 25th April, 2020 at 12.40 hrs and reach Kankaria at 07.30 hrs the next day. The train will halt at Anand, Godhra, Ratlam, Ujjain, Maksi, Bhopal, Bina and Jhansi stations in both directions.
WR has made available a dedicated Helpline No 9004490982 which is manned 24×7 by WR staff for any queries regarding the transportation of essential goods. An email id has also been created for the same firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bhakar stated that since 23rd March to 19th April, 2020, thirteen milk special trains were run by Western Rly, with a load of more than 9000 tonnes and 100% utilization of the wagons generating revenue of Rs 1.58 crore. Similarly, 4 indented rakes carrying 1864 tonnes were run with 100% utilization generating revenue of more than Rs 77 lakh.
In addition to this, 55 Covid-19 special parcel trains were also run during this period to transport essential commodities, for which the revenue earned was Rs 1.50 crore. Such loading was possible due to constant efforts by WR to deliver its best. Wide publicity of WR’s parcel special trains is being ensured by way of advertisements & news in newspapers, as well as through social media and SMS, so that traders can book their parcels thereby ensuring that there is no dearth of essentials required by the people.
Even during the loading/unloading work, proper norms of social distancing are being observed and the labourers are being provided with hand sanitizers & other necessary objects. As goodwill gesture, arrangements for food are also made for the labourers at various places.
Bhakar also said that nine parcel special trains left from WR to various parts of the country on 20th April, 2020 viz. Ahmedabad – Guwahati, Surat – Bhagalpur, Porbandar – Shalimar, Bandra Terminus – Ludhiana, Okha – Trivandrum, Kankaria – Sankrail Goods Terminal, Bhuj – Dadar, Bandra Terminus – Okha and Okha – Bandra Terminus. Besides these parcel special trains, one milk special rake also ran from Palanpur to Hind Terminal.
During the lockdown period from 22nd March to 19th April, 2020, total 1804 rakes of goods trains have been used by WR to supply essential commodities amounting to 3.89 million tonnes. 3993 freight trains were interchanged with other railways, including 2019 trains handed over and 1974 trains taken over at different interchange points. 74 Millennium Parcel rakes of Parcel Vans/Railway Milk Tankers (RMTs) have been sent to different parts of the country to supply as per the demands of essential items such as milk powder, liquid milk and other general consumer goods.
The total losses over Western Railway up to 19th April, 2020 have been estimated as Rs 486.79 Cr (inclusive of suburban + non-suburban). Inspite of this, due to cancellation of tickets till now, Western Railway has ensured to refund Rs. 201.49 crore. It is worth mentioning that in this refund amount, Mumbai Division itself, has ensured refund of Rs. 98.31 crore. Till now, 30.61 lakh passengers have cancelled their tickets over entire Western Railway & have received their refund amount accordingly. Upto 19th April, 2020 more than 1.17 lakh masks and almost 10,000 liters of sanitizers were made inhouse at various divisions and workshops of WR during the lockdown period.