As Covid-19 Lockdown Continues, More Than 80,000 Wagons Are Moving Essential GoodsA goods train in India (Adityamadhav83/Wikimedia Commons)

Notwithstanding the sluggish revenue collection in the wake of economic slowdown, the state-run transporter is working round the clock to ensure the availability of essential commodities through its uninterrupted freight services while the country is completely locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Besides, Indian Railways is ready to provide 3.2 lakh isolation beds in 20,000 coaches for suspected pandemic patients around the country. Work on 5000 coaches is going on currently and while the work order for the rest is likely to be undertaken shortly.

Taking up a stellar role in the wake of the corona crisis, public transporter is also distributing free meals at several stations at Mumbai, Patna, Ranchi, Delhi, Tatanagar, Bangalore and many others across the country.

Railways despatched more than 70,000 wagons loaded with tons of essential goods including sugar, salt, edible oil, food grains, and petroleum products in the last two days.

On March 28, 2020, total of 695 rakes/35942 wagons were loaded out of which 442 rakes/24412 wagons were loaded for essential commodities.

This includes 54 rakes/2405 wagons of foodgrains, 3 rakes/126 wagons of sugar, 1 rake/42 wagons of salt, 1 rake/50 wagons of edible oil, 356 rakes/20519 wagons of coal, and 27 rakes/1270 wagons of petroleum products. One wagon contains 58-60 ton consignment.

On March 29, 2020, total 684 rakes/35319 wagons were loaded out of which 437 rakes/24202 wagons were loaded for essential commodities. This includes 40 rakes/1727 wagons of foodgrains, 5 rakes/210 wagons of sugar, 1 rake/42 wagons of salt, 1 rake/42 wagons of edible oil, 363 rakes/20904 wagons of coal, and 27 rakes/1277 wagons of petroleum products.

Though the March 30 and 31 numbers are in the process of final calculation, it is estimated an equal number of wagons for the previous two days pressed into service.

It may be noted that the Home Ministry has allowed the movement of goods across the country to ensure that the supply chain keeps fully operational. Railways and MHA officials are in constant touch with State Governments to sort out operational issues to ensure smooth handling at terminals.

Indian Railways has decided to run several long-distance Parcel Cargo Express Special Trains (PCET) in a time-tabled manner to provide seamless transportation facilities for the movement of goods to different parts of the country. These special trains will help in delivering items of daily needs during the lockdown period necessitated due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak in India.

The New Delhi-Howrah PCET special train will depart from New Delhi on every Thursday on April 2, 9 and 16 at 7 AM to reach Howrah at 6.25 AM the next day.

In the return direction, the Howrah-New Delhi PCET Special train will depart from Howrah on every Saturday on April 4, 11 and 18 at 6.35 PM to reach New Delhi at 5.20 PM the next day.

Consisting of 5 Parcel van and 01 SLR coaches, the New Delhi-Howrah-New Delhi PCET special trains will have stoppages at Kanpur Central, Prayagraj, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Dhanbad railway stations in both directions.

The New Delhi-Howrah PCET special train will depart from New Delhi on every Monday on April 6 and April 13 at 7 AM to reach Howrah at 8.40 AM the next day.

In the return direction, the Howrah-New Delhi PCET Special train will depart from Howrah on every Wednesday on April 8 and 15 at 4 PM to reach New Delhi at 5.20 PM the next day.

Consisting of 5 Parcel van and one SLR coaches, the New Delhi-Howrah-New Delhi PCET special trains will have stoppages at Kanpur Central, Prayagraj, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Patna, Jhajha and Asansol railway stations in both directions.

The Bandra Terminus-Ludhiana PCET Special train will depart from Bandra Terminus on April 1, 3, 6, 8, 11 and 13 at 8 PM to reach Ludhiana at 11.35 AM on the third day.

In the return direction, the Ludhiana-Bandra Terminus PCET Special train will depart from Ludhiana on April 3, 8, 10, 13 and 15 at 11.30 PM to reach Bandra Terminus at 5.30 PM on the next day.

The Bandra Terminus-Ludhiana-Bandra Terminus PCET Special trains will have stoppages at Vapi, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodra, Anand, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Jaipur, Delhi and Ambala railway stations in both directions.

The New Delhi-Chennai PCET special train will depart from New Delhi on April 4 and 11 at 6 PM to reach Chennai at 8.30 AM on the third day. In the return direction, the Chennai-New Delhi PCET Special train will depart from Chennai on April 1 and 8 at 6 PM to reach New Delhi at 9.30 PM on the third day.

Consisting of 5 Parcel van and one SLR coaches, the New Delhi-Chennai-New Delhi PCET special trains will have stoppages at Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bina. Bhopal, Itarsi, Nagpur, Balharshah and Vijayawada railway stations in both directions.

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