GUWAHATI, April 29 - Substantial increase in transport of coal, foodgrains and mineral oil, among other commodities, helped Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) register a small growth in its year-on-year cumulative revenue earnings from freight traffic during 2017-18.
The Maligaon-headquartered NFR�s revenue earnings from freight traffic on an originating basis stood at Rs 1,202.69 crore in 2017-18 compared to Rs 1,182.08 crore in the previous financial year of 2016-17, resulting in an annual rise of 1.74 per cent.
During the period under review, the commodity-wise freight traffic on an originating basis of NFR also went up by 3.96 per cent year-on-year to 9.97 million tonnes (MT) from 9.59 MT in 2016-17.
�There was good rise in freight earnings from products like coal, foodgrains and �other goods� segments. The expansion of the railway network during recent years is starting to show the impact with regard to freight traffic, as more and more areas have now become easily accessible for transport of goods,� sources said.
During the fiscal ended March 31, 2018, NFR earned Rs 164.83 crore from transportation of 0.86 MT of coal.
Coal continues to be a major source of earnings from freight traffic for the NFR. Besides coal, other commodities like mineral oil, foodgrains and raw materials for steel plants formed the biggest component of freight traffic of the NFR zone.
In 2017-18, NFR earned Rs 128.62 crore from transportation of 1.15 MT of raw materials for steel plants, Rs 10 lakh from transportation of 0.01 MT of pig iron and finished steel, and Rs 30.42 crore from 0.38 MT of cement.
NFR transported 0.69 MT of foodgrains, earning Rs 174.77 crore during the fiscal under review, while it also transported 0.27 MT of fertilizers, earning Rs 20.52 crore. Last fiscal, NFR earned Rs 435.32 crore from transportation of 3.31 MT of mineral oil (petroleum oil and lubricants).
Besides, the zone earned Rs 31.03 crore from 0.10 MT of container service and Rs 217.08 crore from 3.20 MT of other goods in the period from April 2017 to March 2018.
Overall, during 2017-18, Indian Railways� cumulative revenue earnings from freight traffic touched Rs 1,13,024 crore, a growth of over eight per cent on an annual basis, while its commodity-wise freight traffic also registered a growth of over 4.7 per cent to 1,161.66 MT.
Experts believe that freight traffic and earnings can get a further boost with expansion of the rail network to interior parts of the Northeast as well as the track doubling work now being undertaken.
�Faster completion of double-tracking work, along with timely completion of other projects, will provide further fillip to freight traffic in the region as well as helping the local economy of the Northeast,� said an official.