Despite a heavy rush for train travel, the number of passenger bookings during the April-October period this year has seen a decline as compared to the same period last year, according to data which could pose a worry for the cash-strapped railways.
The total number of passenger tickets booked during the period April-October, 2013, was 4,967.26 million, a decline of 0.60 per cent on the sales for the same period last year, which stood at 4,997.36 million.
In the non-suburban sector, which includes regular, mail and express trains, 2,310.10 million tickets were booked in the seven-month period this fiscal as against 2,401.19 million sold within the same timeframe last year, a decrease of 3.79 per cent.
However, the suburban sector saw a rise in passenger bookings during the said period. The number of tickets sold during April-October, 2013, was 2,657.16 million as against 2,596.17 million in sales during the same period last year, an improvement by 2.35 per cent.
The total earnings by railways between April-October this year was Rs 77,235.64 crore, an increase of 12.53 per cent over the Rs 68,634.26 crore collected during the same period last year.
Earnings from freight services went up from Rs 47,350.71 crore during April-October, 2012, to Rs 51,876.33 crore in the period under review this year, an increase of 9.56 per cent.
Earnings from passenger services during the seven-month period in the current fiscal was Rs 21,247.79 crore as against Rs 18,017.23 crore during the same period last year, which is an increase of 17.93 per cent.
Earnings from other coaching increased by 22.68 per cent to touch Rs 2,187.32 crore for April-October, 2013, as against Rs 1,782.94 crore for the same period last year.