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Automakers want to increase freight carriage through railways, ask for improved infrastructure

This comes as the national transporter announced a series of measures to boost demand from the industry including waiving off of certain freight charges temporarily.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 12, 2019, 05.22 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: The auto industry has asked the Indian Railways to make available sufficient, improved infrastructure as it plans to ramp up freight transportation through railways, a senior government official said.

This comes as the national transporter announced a series of measures to boost demand from the industry including waiving off of certain freight charges temporarily.

While India's automotive industry in the country roils under an unprecedented slowdown in sales, the Indian Railways has received a demand from companies including Honda, Kia Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Ford India among others, for new rakes that are being tested with the design and development arm of the Indian Railways, said Purnendu Mishra, Member Traffic, Railway Board.

"The auto industry has told us that they are ready to give more business to the railways," Mishra told ET on the sidelines of a press briefing here on Thursday.

Further to the demand from the auto industry, the national transporter is also planning to increase the share of automobile in its freight basket to around 8-10% by the end of the current financial year as against 2% at present.

The Indian Railways has transported around 500 million tonnes of freight so far this year and is looking to surpass the FY 19 tonnage of 1225 million tonnes in the current financial year, Mishra said.

"We have held discussions with various industries, and they have requested that freight charges of the Indian Railways come down," Mishra said. "This will help pump demand from different sectors," he added.

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