NEW DELHI: The railways have taken the lead in ensuring essential commodities reach all parts of the country during the Covid-19 crisis. In the past three days the number of wagons loaded saw a marginal increase than that of first three days of the lockdown.
The railway ministry said on Thursday that over 1.43 lakh wagons of freight was loaded in last three days (March 30 to April 1) of which 76,687 wagons carried essential commodities. During the first three days of lockdown, railways had loaded 74,848 wagons of essential commodities.
While freight trains are carrying foodgrains, fruits and vegetables, salt, fertilizer, coal and petroleum products, the special parcel trains started recently has complemented to the efforts for adequate supply of other essential commodities.
For example, out of the 30 special parcel trains that were pressed to service 10 transported milk and milk products while a few of the trains carried seeds and dry grass besides miscellaneous items.
For example, a parcel train from Palampur in Gujarat carried milk to Palawal; one such train carried dry grass from Palghar in Maharashtra to Jammu and a train of agri-seed came from Salem to Hisar. Similarly, a parcel train from Chennai to Nagarcoil transported medicines.
“Railways all geared up to meet the demands of state governments for parcel trains for short distance movement within the state,” the railway ministry said.
Meanwhile, in an official statement, the railways said between Monday and Wednesday, railways transported 7,195 wagons of foodgrains, 64,567 wagons of coal, 3,314 wagons of steel and 3,838 wagons of petroleum products.
The railways role in transportation of foodgrains also received appreciation from Union food and Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was earlier railway minister.
Seeing the success of the parcel trains, the railways has planned 10 routes for time tabled parcel trains and another 18 new routes are planned for special parcel trains to keep supply chains running.