WALTAIR DIVISION’S FREIGHT TO TOUCH 60 MT THIS FISCAL

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Freight carried on the Waltair division of the east coast railways is set to see an increase for the current fiscal with a projected growth of 7-8% compared to the corresponding period last year.
‘We are on track to achieve freight traffic of about 60 MT for this fiscal’ said the DRM Mr Mukul Saran Mathur speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan.
Encompassing a route of 1106 km the waltair division carried around 56 million tonne of freight
for the fiscal 2017-18. The two most transported commodities are Iron ore and coal.
Even the container traffic has seen substantial growth thanks to the recently acquired Nepal cargo. ‘On an average we do about 2-3 rakes per day wherein Concor alone does about 1-2 rakes’ said the Divisional Railway Manager.
‘Overall freight has gone up’ said Mr Mathur.
KK Line (Kothavalasa-Kirandul)
However the contentious KK line wherein the work for doubling of the line is being carried out seems to have faltered in its growth. Traffic on the KK line has actually come down in the last 3 years said the DRM. KK line cargo for the fiscal ending 16-17 amounted to 16.9 Million tonnes wherein it came down to 16 MT in fiscal 17-18 and as of December 2018 recorded 11.5 MT. ‘We shall probably end up this fiscal with the same number as last year for the KK line’ said the DRM.
‘We expected much more growth on this line however the capacity is much more than what is currently being utilized’ said Mr Mathur.
The 445 km KK line is in fact majorly funded by NMDC. NMDC has its own captive steel plant at Nagar Nar which is a 3mtpa steel plant and is a key infrastructure project in the tribal belt.
It is stated that 95% of traffic on KK line is bound for VSP wherein iron ore comes from NMDC and goes to VSP (Visakhapatnam Steel Plant). For a long time rakes would go back empty from VSP.
While VSP is NMDC’s main client the balance is being catered to its own steel plant in Nagar Nar.
‘We have already dispatched one rake of 40000 tonnes of coal to Nagar Nar in Nov 18’ said Mr Mathur.
Citing major disruptions along the KK line he said that the department has to face many hurdles including security issues (due to Maoist activity) in completion of doubling the KK line.
In one instance the division reconstructed a bridge along the KK line which was damaged by a boulder. The bridge was constructed in a record time of 58 days said Mr Mathur. And to further aggrandize infrastructure track protection is being laid on the line. We are taking lot of steps to avoid disruption.
‘KK line is an important asset to the Indian railways and we have dedicated this entire line to cargo hence we are most concerned with its full utilization’ said the DRM.
Mr Mathur further informed that about 80 kms of the doubling work shall have been completed by the end of this fiscal.

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