VIJAYAWADA: The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the revenue of South Central Railway Vijayawada division during 2020-21. A total of Rs 2,494 crore revenue was earned by the division as against Rs 5,000 crore earned during 2019-20. Disclosing the details, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) P Srinivas said that of the total Rs 2,494 crore revenue earned, Rs 2,197.27 crore alone was earned through transportation of goods during the year compared to last year earnings of Rs 2,812 crore, which is 21 per cent less than the previous year.
Due to unprecedented lockdown and economic slowdown, the overall loading activity was reduced. In spite of these challenges, the division has captured many new streams of traffic due to the dedicated efforts of Business Development Units (BDUs) and new commodities like fly ash, soyabean oil, fish feed and many others, he said.
Informing about the infrastructure projects taken up during the pandemic, the DRM said that nine lifts and two escalators were commissioned during the year, with this the division has a total of 40 lifts and 20 escalators. Seating capacity at the Vijayawada Railway Station has been enhanced by 200.
A total of nine footover bridges (FOBs) were commissioned during the year at various stations. The other works include provision of a second entry at Gudur station, new station building at Kavali, new Mega FOB with 6 meter gangway width and length of 185 meter at the Vijayawada Station connecting platform no.1 to 10 has been completed.
Installation of sanitisation kiosk at the Vijayawada Railway Station under non-fare revenue initiative and improvements to Vijayawada Station circulating area by relocating the existing assets as part of redevelopment works. European style passenger information system with sixteen 63 inches LED displays installed at the Vijayawada station and two LED displays at Anakapalle. CCTVs have been installed at Ongole station (20), Nellore (40), Vijayawada (11) and Tuni (28) during 2020-21. The station security plans of Vijayawada and Nellore have been completed and the same are under process for Rajahmundry station. This will enhance the security system at the respective stations.
Regarding Covid management initiatives and vaccination drive undertaken by the division, the DRM said new OPD block with state-of-the-art facilities and a separate entrance to ease crowd were made operational at the divisional railway hospital, Vijayawada. Divisional railway hospital has set up a 24x7 fever clinic with separate entrance for patients with Covid symptoms as per the WHO protocol and guidelines for Covid management.
Across the division, so far, 3,300 frontline workers, staff above 45 years with comorbidites and retired personnel have been vaccinated, he explained. Commenting on the rumours circulating on various social media platforms about sudden rush of passengers at the railway stations, Srinivas said that there is ample space in trains for passengers.