With regular operations disrupted due to the COVID-19, the traffic earnings of the Railways has declined by over 42% to 41,844.31 crore till August over the same period last year, Parliament was told on Wednesday.
Up to the end of August, the number of originating passengers was just 1.27% of the corresponding period last year, while freight loading was 86.6% of the corresponding period last year.
Consequently, the traffic revenue for the period, at 41,844.31 crore, has declined by 42.3% over the corresponding period last year, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal told the Rajya Sabha.
On an average, the Railways earns about 50,000 crore from passenger segment and around 1,30,000 crore from freight annually.
The freight revenue till the end of August stood at 39,648.02 crore, 14.6% lower than 46,433.37 crore in the same period last year.
The Minister said till September 10, approximately 3,371.50 crore has been refunded to passengers due to cancellation of tickets booked till April 14, for journey from March 23 to August 12 in regular time-tabled trains.
Mr. Goyal said the Railways has taken many steps to simplify freight policy to boost revenue, while to enhance passenger earnings, the resumption of train services has been undertaken in a phased manner based on the demand pattern subject to the COVID-19 situation and the governments directives.
Periodical review of occupancy, quota utilisation, waiting list of trains is done and adjustments are made, wherever required. Besides, measures to enhance passenger earnings is an on-going process.
He said no case of infection during train travel has been reported.