Salaries, fuel costs eat into Railway bottomline | Daily News


Salaries, fuel costs eat into Railway bottomline

The Railway Department’s recurrent expenditure has been more than double of its total revenue last year, the Performance Report of Sri Lanka Railway (SLR) indicated.

The report stated that the Railway Department’s recurrent expenditure increased by 5.1 percent to Rs. 14,080.66 million last year due to increase in employees’ emoluments, while its total revenue was Rs. 6,477.11 million. The report was tabled in Parliament last week.

“The gap between the recurrent expenditure and the revenue continued due to the increase in salaries and expenditure for fuel,” the Department said in its report, identifying it as one of the main challenges the Department faced.

Compared to 2016, the Department’s revenue had only grown by 0.1 percent last year. “The increasing number of season ticketholders was the main factor for the drop in passenger revenue in 2017 because SLR loses 60 percent revenue from a season ticket. It charges only 40 percent from the face value of the ordinary ticket. The number of normal passengers was decreased by three percent from 68.97 million in 2016 to 67.03 million and no fair revision has taken place since 2008. This has been a major reason for the reduction of revenue in 2017,” the report explained.

It further said that the overtime expenditure has increased annually due to the existing vacancies in SLR.

According to the report’s statistics, a total of 9,382 trains were cancelled last year. Out of them 7,663 were passenger trains. A total of 9,217 trains which operated last year faced delays of more than one hour. Out of them 4,690 were passenger trains. A total of 11,175 trains which operated last year were delayed between 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Out of them 10,727 were passenger trains.

The report stated that 59 percent of the trains operated punctually last year.

According to the report, 180 people committed suicide on rail tracks last year. Four people died while another 70 were injured after falling off trains. Twelve people died and 59 people were injured due to train accidents involving vehicles on railway level crossings, last year.

The Railway Security Service apprehended 1,333 passengers for ticketless travel and collected Rs. 4.1 million in fines last year. SLR apprehended 292 for travel in classes irrelevant to their tickets and collected Rs 912,992 million in fines. 

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