On Sunday, Trivedi will flag-off a Howrah-Bolpur Kavi Guru Express from Kolkata. The routes of eight trains will also be extended and the frequency of five will be increased. The extensions and increase in frequency will come into immediate effect, the minister said.
In the 2011-12 Railway Budget, Mamata Banerjee had announced the introduction of 132 new trains, extension of routes for 33 and increase in frequency for another 22. Of these, 42 new trains have been introduced.
In order to cater to the surge of passenger traffic that is seasonal in nature, Indian Railways has followed a strategy of running trains on demand. Recognizing the need to bridge the extremely large gap between supply and demand on one hand and limitations of terminal capacity and line capacity on the railways on the other, a close watch is kept on the wait-list of passengers as well as on important social and cultural events in the region.
Exercising operational innovations by way of utilizing spare maintenance capacity and ensuring optimum utilization of assets, special trains are run to the maximum extent feasible for clearance of passenger traffic. Special trains are run not only on traditional festivals and holidays but for also on region specific cultural events like Urs festival at Ajmer and the Durga Puja/Diwali & Chhat festivals.
Between April to September 2011, Railways carried approximately 4120.8 million passengers, which is 5.47% higher than the 3907 million passengers carried during corresponding period of last year.
In case of originating passenger earnings, between April-September 2011, Railways have achieved originating earnings of approximately Rs 14017.7 crore, which is 10.47% higher than the originating earnings of Rs 12688.8 crore during corresponding period of last year.
Keeping in view the consistent and substantial growth in passenger traffic, Indian Railways will endeavor to introduce new trains, increase frequency of train services and extend some existing trains as announced in the Railway Budget 2011-12 during the course of the financial year and will also run special trains during important festivals and peak seasons this year.