Kolkata : The 74th Independence Day was celebrated at South Eastern Railway Headquarters, Garden Reach with due solemnity.
Sanjay Kumar Mohanty, General Manager, South Eastern Railway unfurled the National Flag and took salute at the ceremonial parade presented by the contingents of Railway Protection Force and Civil Defence Personnel.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohanty said that in 2019-20, S E Railway loaded 171.96 million tonnes of freight which was 11.04% more than the freight loading of 2018-19. This was the highest ever loading achieved by this railway since its trifurcation. In the current financial year, in spite of lockdown, S E Railway has loaded 14.38 million tonnes of freight in July, 2020 which is 13.3% more than the freight loading of June, 2020.
In the passenger sector, SER carried 252.25 million passengers in the last financial year i.e 2019-20. SER’s gross earnings in the fiscal 2019-20 was Rs.15972.02 crores which was 5.44% higher than the financial year 2018-19. SER recorded an operating ratio of 64.86% in 2019-20 which was one of the best among all zonal railways.
With a view to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic, SER has developed its hospitals at Ranchi, Adra, Kharagpur and Chakradharpur as COVID hospitals with 282 Isolation Beds. Apart from this, a total number of 772 beds with quarantine facility has been arranged for use at various locations. As a primary measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Hand Sanitiser and Reusable Face Masks are being produced in our four Divisions and Kharagpur Workshop of SER. A total of 1,18,045 reusable Face Masks, 1596 Face Shields and 12,520 litre Hand Sanitiser have been prepared up to 31st July, 2020 and distributed among frontline railway personnel.
During the lockdown period in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Parcel Express trains are operating between various important places to maintain uninterrupted supply of essential commodities like vegetables, fruits, food grains, medicines medical equipments etc. A total 1,069 Parcel Express trains have been run by SER till 31st July, 2020, carrying 57,650 tonnes of essential commodities.
With a view to fulfill its social commitments and responsibilities, SER has distributed 4,79,506 free and hygienic meals to poor and needy people till 31st July, 2020. For the convenience of the stranded passengers, 129 special trains are being run by Indian Railways. Out of these 129 pairs, 14 pairs of special trains are run by South Eastern Railway from 1st June, 2020 towards different direction of the country. In addition, 771 Shramik Special trains have also been run by SER.
Speaking about the passenger amenity measures taken by SER, Shri Mohanty said that in 2019-20, platforms have been raised at 15 stations while the work for extension of platforms has been completed at 6 stations. Moreover, improvement of circulating area has been done at 11 stations.
During the lockdown period, SER has laid stress on maintenance work of railway track, bridges and other installations. In the current financial year, SER has completed 61.5 KM doubling and third line works in important sections. In addition 41 km electrification work between Bankura and Sonamukhi has also been completed.
Due to Corona virus pandemic and lockdown, economic activities including railway’s freight and passenger traffic have suffered this year. In this context, General Manager appealed to SER employees to work harder so that the targets in the coming months can be achieved. Shri Mohanty appreciated the role of SER’s Corona warriors who have performed their duties with great sincerity and dedication during the pandemic situation.
The whole programme was organized maintaining health protocols and social distancing .