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18% Rajdhani, 9% Shatabdi trains delayed so far this fiscal; improvement over last year: RTI reply

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21st October, 2019 18:40 IST

New Delhi: Eighteen per cent of Rajdhani trains and nine per cent of Shatabdi Express trains were running late for the first six months of this fiscal, according to data received in an RTI reply. In 2018-2019 fiscal, 23 per cent of Rajdhani trains and 13 per cent of Shatabdi trains were delayed, while 44 per cent of Garib Rath Express were running late and 53 per cent of Suvidha Express trains delayed between April to September 2019.

Till September of this fiscal, the railways has recorded punctuality of around 74 per cent and 71 per cent for its mail express and passenger trains respectively. In the RTI query, Bhopal-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur asked the railways for its punctuality figures from 2016-2017 to September of the financial year 2019-2020.

The data shows that while the railways has managed to improve the performance of Garib Rath Express from 60 per cent in 2018-2019 to 65 per cent, the performance of Suvidha trains have come down from from 64.87 per cent the previous fiscal to 47 per cent till September of 2019-2020.

Similarly, in 2018-19, the punctuality of mail and express trains was 69.23 per cent while that of passenger trains was 68 per cent. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report last year said the cause of delays was due to serious flaws in the government's Rs 1 lakh crore station redevelopment plans and blamed it on lack of enough space for trains on stations and dearth of basic infrastructure.

Recently, the railways introduced a system linking its trains to a satellite network of ISRO to collect real-time updates on them to make sure the train is on time. It has also taken up various modernisation drives such as laying new tracks, improvement in signalling systems, among others.
Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal has directed all zonal railways to run trains "at maximum permissible speed."

All factors that contributed to the slowing down of trains, such as unmanned level crossings, non-interlocked sections and single-line operations, were being eliminated on a fast track mode, a senior official said. 

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