GUWAHATI, June 24 � Even as the annual total earnings of the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) went up during 2013-14, it is noteworthy that its revenue earnings continue to be among the lowest in the Indian Railways and its annual rate of growth is also very low as compared to other zonal railways.
Official data shows that the NFR�s approximate earnings on originating basis stood at Rs 3,281.39 crore in the year ended March 2014, as against Rs 3,109.28 crore in 2012-13, resulting in a 5.54 per cent increase.
While the growth, coming after a half-yearly negative figure, is significant, it is also true that the NFR�s total earnings on originating basis are only the 14th highest among the 16 railway zones across India.
The New Delhi-headquartered Northern Railway (NR) registered approximate earnings on originating basis at Rs 16,787.90 crore in 2013-14, while it was Rs 15,313.74 crore in the case of the Bilaspur-headquartered South East Central Railway (SECR) and Rs 14,153.48 crore for the Mumbai CST-based Western Railway (WR).
Besides, the annual growth rate in total earnings last fiscal was as high as 25.14 per cent in case of the Jaipur-headquartered North Western Railway (NWR), 20.43 per cent for the Gorakhpur-based North Eastern Railway (NER) and 17.49 per cent for the NR.
The approximate earnings of the Indian Railways on originating basis registered a 12.54 per cent annual jump to Rs 1,40,485.02 crore in the last fiscal.
�Among the main reasons for the low earnings, a prime one is new environmental norms and the recent Supreme Court rulings, which had impacted transport of coal originating in the North East. Besides, this region is less industrialised and therefore, more goods come from outside to this region than vice versa,� said a senior Railway official, commenting on the reasons for the low rise in earnings of the NFR.
During 2013-14, total goods earnings of the NFR went up by 12.55 per cent to Rs 1,479.02 crore, while total passenger revenue earnings were up 17.36 per cent to Rs 1,235.91 crore.
Earnings from other coachings grew 8.23 per cent to Rs 137.75 crore. However, sundry earnings registered a steep decline of over 30 per cent and stood at Rs 428.71 crore.
Besides, the approximate numbers of passengers booked in 2013-14 fell by 2.86 per cent year-on-year to 97.64 million.
�For the NFR to realise its full potential, there is an urgent need to address issues like double-tracking, electrification and expansion of railway to the interiors of various states,� said the official.