Railways cargo traffic to drop 2-3%
The share of Indian Railways in cargo traffic is expected to go down by 2-3% this year as against the current 36%. This is in sharp contrast to 2% increase targeted for the 12th Plan period. The key reason has been the lacklustre performance of the railways in setting up dedicated lines and centres for expanding business in commodities like steel and cement.
India is the fourth largest producer of steel in the world. The railways even with the current growth of loading rate at 8.39% would carry less than half of the steel produced- about 400 lakh tonnes compared to the overall production of 960 lakh tonnes annually. India’s steel capacity would treble in coming years but the railways seem to be little prepared for the challenge.