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Railways ferries 124 mt freight in Nov; FY23 earnings top Rs 1 trillion

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The Indian Railways, which was witnessing growth upwards of 8-9 per cent every month this financial year (2022-23, or FY23), saw its second consecutive month of tepid growth in November. The transporter carried 123.9 million tonnes (mt) of goods during the month, registering a 5 per cent increase against last year, according to the provisional data furnished by the Ministry of .

“On a cumulative basis from April-November, loading of 978.72 mt was achieved against last year’s loading of 903.16 mt during the same period — an improvement of 8 per cent. The has earned Rs 1.05 trillion, against Rs 91,127 crore over the past year — an improvement of 16 per cent, compared with the same period of last year,” said the ministry.

In October, loading by the transporter grew at a meagre 1 per cent, owing to slowdowns in some of the biggest items in its basket — coal, iron ore, and containers.

Commodity-wise data for November has not been made available yet.

Railway officials said that growth in the past two months has been lower than expected, and that the ministry may end FY23 ferrying 1,500-1,550 mt of goods if the current trends persist.

This is against an internal target of 1,700 mt, which was widely understood as aspirational.

“The is leveraging its renewed rolling stock, but the current track network can only provide for so much growth. New corridors will play a crucial role in freight growth,” said a senior official.

Business Standard had previously reported that the transporter is eyeing new connectivity projects worth Rs 94,153 crore as part of its energy corridor programme.

RITES, Bureau Veritas among 4 agencies to inspect supply-chain management

Months after the Ministry of Railways invited third-party inspection agencies to evaluate the national transporter’s supply-chain management system, it has finalised four such agencies to undertake the review — Intertek (British firm), Railways-owned consultancy Rail India Technical and Economic Service, Bureau Veritas (French testing company), and TUV India (German certification major).

The roll-out was spearheaded by Western Railway, which aims at integrating digitisation into every process of the rail delivery system. The agencies will be integrated into the national transporter’s digital systems and evaluate its supply chains.

The assignment of inspection work will be done by algorithm-based digital process, without any discretion to the vendor or the rail user, the Railways said.

“This system covers product inspection, process inspection, process audit, and verification of quality assurance plan. It also enables provision for obtaining competitive quotes for inspection in purchase orders (above Rs 500 crore) with the upper ceiling of rates finalised,” it said.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who oversees both Railways and information technology, has been vocal about the need to digitise railway processes to become more competitive.

The Railways has already digitised the procurement of most services, and plans to complete the digital overhaul of its parcel services by the end of the financial year.

Dhruvaksh Saha

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