The Indian Railways on Wednesday said that transport of private food grains (PFG) has increased during the lockdown period compared to last year. The Railways delivered over A7.75 lakh tonnes of PFG between March 25 to April 28. These private food grains are those that are the non-Food Corporation of India foodgrains.
"During the lockdown period from March 25 to April 28, more than 7.75 lakh tonnes (303 rakes) of private food grains (PFG) freight were loaded across the country compared to about 6.62 lacs tonnes (243 rakes) last year in the same period," the Railway Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
He said that Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu are the top five states in private food grains freight loading.
Since the announcement of nationwide lockdown, the Indian Railways has suspended the passenger services, mail and express trains to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Railways is operating only freight and special parcel trains to ensure the supply of the essential items across the country.
The official said Indian Railways is making special efforts to ensure that farm products such as food grains are procured and supplied in time during the lockdown. He added that the transport of essential commodities has been in full swing during this period.
Railways have also identified routes to special parcel trains for transporting perishable commodities, including fruits, vegetables, milk, and dairy products and seeds for agriculture purposes. The official added that trains are operated even on those routes where demand is less to ensure that no part of the country remains unconnected during the lockdown.
The Railway Ministry has also taken up initiatives to distribute free hot cooked meals to the poor and hungry. On April 20, The Indian Railways crossed the two million mark in the distribution of free cooked meals during the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
Railways registers growth in private foodgrains freight amid lockdown