In 2017-2018, the Indian Railways have seen the highest punctuality woes in the last three years. As much as 30% trains ran late this year as per official data and that has incurred great loses for Indian Railways – Country’s largest public sector enterprise. The punctuality of express trains and mails fell by 5.3% in 2017-2018 as compared to 2016-2017.
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While the punctuality rate for express and mail trains in 2016-2017 was 76.69 per cent, it fell to 71.39 in 2017-2018. The Comptroller and Auditor General carried an analysis into the delays causing losses to Indian Railways.
The CAG found out that there are some serious flaws in the railway redevelopment plans of the Indian government which are worth INR 1 lakh crores. The CAG’s report highlighted that there is not enough space for trains at stations which causes unprecedented delays. The report of the CAG was submitted in the Parliament earlier this week.
The CAG further explained that delays are also caused as there are not enough platforms on stations. He further added that not all the platforms on a station can accommodate trains with 24 or more coaches. He underlined the fact that the focus of the government has been mainly for the passengers’ convenience and not the eliminate delays.
The CAG added that to ensure timely arrival and departures of trains should be the top priority in terms of extending excellent services to passengers. But according to the CAG not much has been done to ensure punctuality by removing constraints and hurdles. A fewer washing pit lines and stabling lines were also cited as reasons for delays.
This report is alarming for the Indian government in terms of setting its priorities right. While India may boast of its bullet train projects, such sorry state of railways infrastructure causing delays paints a depressing picture.
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