Indian Railways set to increase freight loading, BD Unit set up in Vijayawada

VIJAYAWADA: The Indian Railways has established a Business Development Unit (BDU) to improve the freight loading from the division. The BDU has been set up as per the directions of the Railway Board to enhance the freight business.

“The focus of the newly set-up unit is to double the freight carried by the railways by 2024, with particular focus on strengthening the railway’s share in the existing traffic,” said Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) P. Srinivas.

Senior Divisional Operations Manager V. Anjaneyulu would act as a coordinator of the divisional-level multi-disciplinary BDU and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager P. Bhaskar Reddy, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer K. Srinivas and Senior Divisional Finance Manager Chandrasekhar would be the members of the unit, the DRM said.

“We conducted a virtual meeting with major customers recently. Officials of Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL), Kakinada Port, Vimla Siding, Ramco Cements, Andrew Minerals and other companies and the customers expressed happiness over the development,” Mr. Srinivas said.

The railway authorities explained about different policies on rail booking, especially the new ‘round trip tariff’ policy which was being availed of by Bharathi Cements and Jindal Steels from KPCL siding to their units. The customers assured the railways of extending their support in increasing the freight loading, he said.

“We loaded 24 million tonnes of freight and generated ₹2,600 crore revenue last year. KPCL and Kakinada Port are the major contributors of freight business in railways. We are loading coal, cement, granite, foodgrains, fertilizers and other goods to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other States,” the DRM told on Wednesday.

South Central Railway (SCR) General Manager Gajanan Mallya said the railway officials would hold frequent interactions with the traders to explain to them about the existing pattern of goods transportation and explore the possibility of attracting more freight traffic.

Indian Railways has been taking many policy initiatives for the benefit of the freight customers and the officials should ensure that the new policies should reach the trade and industry. The newly set-up Business Development Unit would serve as a nodal point for speedy operation of the new traffic proposals, the GM said.