Margao: The roll-on, roll-off (RORO) service of the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) has earned a revenue of Rs.73.16 crore in the year 2014-15, up from Rs.67.2 crore that it earned in the financial year 2013-14.
The RORO service which is unique to KRCL enables carrying loaded trucks directly on railway wagons. While 55,921 trucks were carried through the RORO service in 2014-15, altogether, 3,66,403 trucks have so far been transported through this service since its inception in January 1999, data obtained from KRCL sources indicated.
Konkan Railway operates RORO service on three sectors along the route: Kolad-Verna, a distance of 417km with a delivery time of 8-10 hours, Kolad-Surathkal, a distance of 721km with a delivery time of 21-24 hours, and Ankola-Surathkal, a distance of 205km with a delivery time of 3-5 hours.
Vouching for the popularity of the RORO services, KRCL’s senior manager, public relations, Baban Ghatge, said that it has helped the railways “to get back the piecemeal traffic which had got diverted to the road sector”.
“Introduction of RORO services has been a win-win situation for railways, road transporters as well as the nation. The service ensures on time and intact delivery, free of any road risk factor and without multiple handling of consignments. At the national level, this service helps to conserve precious fuel, decongest national highways and reduce the pollution levels along the route,” Ghatge said.
In Goa, Verna is the lone point along the route for loading and unloading of consignment for the RORO service. “The transporters prefer this mode of transportation as it works out quite economical for them, in terms of savings on fuel and labour and vehicle maintenance, apart from faster delivery, thus translating into more profits for them,” Ghatge added. While marble, tiles, clothes etc are some of the types of goods that arrive in Goa by RORO, items like areca nut, fertilizers, rubber sheets, spices, etc are transported from Surathkal.
Ghatge explained that the RORO model has proved successful for the KR as the service requires no additional infrastructure or investment for the railways. “For RORO operations, no goods-shed or depot is required, only a ramp at the end of the loop line with approach road is adequate,” Ghatge said.