Railways commence RO-RO pilot project in NCR

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday flagged off the pilot run of roll-on-roll-off (RORO) service in the national capital region, which is envisaged to decongest Delhi’s roads from trucks carrying freight.

The RORO services enable loading of wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, semi-trailers and trailers on to railway flat cars.

According to the Ministry of Railways, the new service has the potential to decongest Delhi’s roads as it will be used to transport trucks across the city limits.

Around 66,000 trucks enter Delhi every day, out of which, 40-60 per cent are not destined for the city.

The move, the ministry said, will help in reducing air and noise pollution and traffic congestion as railways has the lowest carbon footprint of all transportation modes.

Prabhu flagged off the pilot project through video conferencing from the National Rail Museum here. During the event, the minister unveiled the ‘Indian Railway Business Plan for Passenger and Freight Sector for 2017-18’.

The minister said the share of railways in the country’s total traffic had substantially reduced over the years and that it had rationalised its freight policies in consultation with all stakeholders to attract more freight.

“For these changes, Indian Railways has adopted a market-oriented approach to make traffic policies,” he said.

The minister pointed out that of late, Indian Railways had taken various initiatives to increase non-fare revenue and save fuel costs.

Prabhu also flagged off the trial runs of double stack dwarf containers to run from Ambala to Jamnagar via Ludhiana to increase the load capacity per flat car, thereby bringing down the transportation cost per unit.

The minister explained that the concept would not only save time but also be cost effective.

The containers are 6′ 4″ high to run under overhead electrical wires with increased load carrying capacity as opposed to conventional double stack containers with height of 8.5′ to 9.5′.

In addition, Prabhu launched the policy of ‘long term contracts’ with major freight customers at the function.

–IANS

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