RTI reply indicates Bellary effect - Railway freight revenue witnesses steep decline
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the railway freight revenue of the Hubli division of South Western Railway (SWR) zone has been on a steep decline since 2009-10 owing to government’s efforts to curb illegal mining.
The reply to the application, provided by the Hubli division – the chief resource base for SWR zone, states that due to rise in iron ore exports, total freight earnings rose to Rs. 2,76,339 lakhs in 2009-10. Out of this, the earnings from iron ore transport was Rs. 2,60,351.14 lakhs.
However, when the illegal mining scams in Bellary, Hospet and Sandur came to light, the state government imposed ban on iron ore export in July 2010 in order to curb illegal mining. Later, in July 2011, the Supreme Court imposed complete ban on all kinds of mining in the region.
The step has resulted in sharp decline in total freight revenue earned in subsequent years. The Bellary-Hospet section contributed a revenue of only Rs. 92,699.16 lakhs to the total earnings in 2010-11. Subsequently in 2011-12, the freight revenue earned from movement of iron ore from Bellary-Hospet region further declined and reached Rs. 39,869 lakhs. This was against the total revenue of Rs. 1,87,434 lakhs earned in 2011-12.