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Maruti Suzuki India has shipped 2.33 lakh vehicles through Railways last fiscal, its highest ever dispatch, since commencing the initiative eight years ago. The automaker said it were increased by 23% in 2021-22 up from 1.89 lakh units it transported using Railways in the 2020-21.

Cumulatively, the auto major has transported close to 11 lakh vehicles through Indian Railways in the last eight years, helping avoid over 4,800 MT of carbon dioxide emissions. The move has helped save over 1,56,000 truck trips and over 174 million litres of fuel, according to the carmaker.

"Railway logistics offers a significant potential over road logistics to lower carbon footprint and reduce road congestion. Over the years we have consciously increased the share of car dispatches from our factory to dealers using railways," MSI Executive Director Rahul Bharti told PTI news agency

From around 66,000 units in 2014-15, it has reached an all-time high of 2.33 lakh units in 2021-22, he noted.

"To further increase the share, we are taking several steps. As an industry first initiative, we have formed joint ventures with the governments of Gujarat and Haryana to set-up in-plant railway sidings at Hansalpur and Manesar manufacturing plants," Bharti said.

Realising the environmental benefits, the auto major said it has worked with Indian Railways to increase the use of rail transport for vehicle dispatch.

MSI was the country's first automobile manufacturer to obtain an Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) license in 2013.

This license allowed the company to fabricate and operate high-speed, high-capacity auto-wagon rakes on the Indian Railways network.

The company has 41 railway rakes, with a capacity of over 300 vehicles per rake.

Currently, Maruti Suzuki utilises six loading terminals across Delhi-NCR and Gujarat (Gurgaon, Farukhnagar, Kathuwas, Patli, Detroj and Chharodi) and 16 destination terminals (Bangalore, Nagpur, Mumbai, Guwahati, Mundra Port, Indore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Farukhnagar, Siliguri, Coimbatore, Pune, Agartala and Silchar).

With the addition of Agartala (in 2019) and Silchar (in 2021), cars dispatched for North-Eastern states now reach in nearly eight days.

(With PTI inputs)

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