GUWAHATI, Dec 7 - With a view to increasing freight traffic as well as providing better customer interface, the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has taken a number of steps during the recent months, including opening of goods traffic handling at more stations in the zone.
�We are focusing more on ensuring easier and faster transportation of goods and commodities, both to increase our earnings as well as to boost the local economy in the NFR zone. As part of it, we have allowed handling of inward and outward goods traffic at more stations. This has enabled easier transportation of various commodities by transporters and customers,� a senior official told this newspaper.
He said that Damdim station under NFR�s Alipurduar division was opened for handling of goods booking facility for stone chips and boulder traffic in October, while Lalabazar station under Lumding Division was opened for handling parcel traffic in the same month.
Earlier in September, handling of outward-bound traffic of stone chips and boulders was permitted from the New Harangajao station under Lumding Division. In addition, Jirania and Salchapra stations under Lumding Division and Furkating and New Tinsukia stations under Tinsukia Division were opened for handling of network management gateway (NMG) rakes, which carry automobiles.
Similarly, Biswanath Chariali station under Rangiya Division was also opened for inward goods traffic.
The official said that the recently set up business development units (BDU) in all the five divisions of NFR are maintaining regular touch with existing and prospective transportation agencies to know the actual needs of various industry sectors.
�This has allowed us to get new business, including loading and transportation of parcel vans containing FMCG products. Such goods have been sent from Azara and Changsari in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura,� he added.
NFR has also issued �no objection� certificates for handling of round trips of leased parcel cargo express trains (PCETs) in the Moga-Changsari-Moga and the Vanjipalaiyam-New Guwahati-Vanjipalaiyam routes. This has been done to facilitate speedy transportation of packaged goods from both the northern and the southern parts of the country to the north-eastern region.
NFR has also ramped up the process for registration of its 170 terminals under e-mart registration. �The recently launched mobile app IR RAILSUGAM of the Indian Railways has proved to be very useful. It has helped stakeholders like freight customers and logistic service providers access the necessary link for getting the value added products for services like transportation, warehousing and labour facilities,� said the official.
Senior officials at the headquarters and divisional levels of NFR have been tasked with regularly apprising the traders and business houses of the various incentive schemes and policy initiatives to attract additional traffic.
The official added that the measures undertaken have started showing positive results. �Freight loading from NFR has shown a positive trend. During November, a total of 8.76 million tonnes of goods were loaded in our zone,� said the official.