Railways suffer revenue loss of ₹1,274 crore due to lockdown
As local train services were suspended for nearly a year amid the surge in Covid-19 cases and resultant lockdown in 2020, the suburban railway suffered a loss of nearly ₹1,274 crore.
With over eight million people travelling daily in Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the suburban train services are the biggest public transport system in the financial capital.
All of 3,141 local train services were suspended from midnight of March 22, 2020; resulting in losses to Central and Western Railway.
“The suburban local trains are always under losses particularly due to the low fares. The complete suspension of local train services has increased the loss for the suburban railway network. Loss of ₹600 crore on Central Railway and ₹674 crore on Western Railway was incurred in the entire year (2020-2021),” said a senior railway official on conditions of anonymity.
Local train services for the general public were resumed by the Maharashtra
government on February 1, 2021.
Passengers were allowed to travel in stipulated timing from the first local train service till 7am; then between 12pm and 4pm; and from 9pm till the last local train service.
Further, train services resumed partially for employees working in essential care services on June 15, 2020. However, with a limited number of train services, both the zonal railways continued to incur losses.
“When a limited number of train services are operated, the manpower required to operate and maintenance of trains and tracks are required in its complete capacity. The operational loss was also incurred after
services resumed partially.” said a senior Central Railway official.
Local train services were suspended again on April 15 for the general public as a part of the Maharashtra government initiated Break The Chain lockdown measures.