Indian Railways carried 652.39 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April-December 2009, an increase of 45.64 million tonnes (or 7.52 per cent) over the freight traffic of 606.75 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year.
During December 2009, the Railways carried revenue earning freight traffic of 77.99 million tonnes, which also showed an increase of 5.84 million tonnes (8.09 per cent) over the actual freight traffic of 72.15 million tonnes carried by the Railways during the same period last year, an official release said.
Minister of railways Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, called upon officials to ensure smooth operation of the railways.
While exhorting them to implement various decisions announced in the current railway budget expeditiously, she said the railways need to improve safety measures.
Efforts would have to be made to increase Railways' earnings and business, she said, adding that new methods have to be found to increase revenue as passenger earnings alone are not sufficient to make funds available for the Railways' future expansion needs.
In this context, she suggested focusing on commercial utilisation of Railways' land and space, through disposal of unutilised scraps and commercial advertising and initiatives like auto hubs etc.