Check train delays or face the music: Rail Minister to officials
With a number of complaints being received over the late running of trains, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has cracked the whip on officials concerned, asking them to improve punctuality rate or "face action".
Zonal heads have been asked to deploy a senior-level officer in the night shift between 10 pm and 7 am immediately to monitor the situation and address the problems, if any, to prevent delay in train running.
Besides, Prabhu has also taken note of discrepancies between train timings data available on national train enquiry system (NTES), the official website of Indian Railways, and actual train timings being experienced by passengers.
He, in a letter to the officials, has sought immediate corrective measures to obviate the problems.
The punctuality rate has deteriorated further to 79 per cent during April 1-16 period, as compared to 84 per cent in the corresponding period last year, a decrease of 4 per cent.
Analysis of performance of zonal railways reveals that punctuality has registered a sharp drop over Eastern Railway (-8.9 per cent), North Eastern Railway (-11 per cent), East Central Railway (-10 per cent), South East Central Railway (- 11 per cent), West Central Railway (-8 per cent) and Konkan Railway (-6.9 per cent).
Division-wise analysis of punctuality reveals that the performance of 11 divisions including Varanasi, Mumbai, Sambalpur, Danapur, Samastipur, Jhansi, Jabalpur leaves much to be desired, according to the letter written by Railway Minister office to all zonal heads.
The Railway Minister has expressed his deep concern regarding further deterioration by over 4 per cent in punctuality between 1-16 April and directed that very close monitoring of these divisions should be done by senior officers in the 10 PM-7 AM shift with immediate effect, the letter stated.
According to the instruction, besides monitoring overall performance, these officers should take immediate steps to minimise asset failure time and co-ordinate with divisional and control offices of neighbouring divisions to make up for the delay, if any, in their own divisions.
The names and mobile numbers of these officers should be conveyed to Board's Punctuality Control on a daily basis, it stated.
Over 500 railwaymen to be trained abroad on high-speed rail tech
Indian Railways has undertaken a massive exercise of imparting training to over 500 railwaymen on high-speed rail technology in China and Japan, ahead of running trains at speed
ranging from 160 to 200 kmph in select corridors in the country.
Railways has firmed up plans for running trains at higher speed of 160 kmph in the busy trunk routes of Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai section to reduce travel time between these metropoles.
Besides, the public transporter has asked SNCF, the French railways, to explore possibilities of running trains at 200 kmph on the Delhi-Chandigarh route.
"There is a need for imparting training on high-speed rail technology to our officials before the introduction of the service here," a senior Railway Ministry official involved in Mission Raftaar said.
Railways has launched Mission Raftaar, a programme to increase speed of trains in all busy routes to reduce journey time between cities.
There will be about 550 railway officials from directorates concerned, including traffic and electrical, who will be trained in China and Japan as arrangements for such training has been put in place, the official said.
While the first batch of 40 railway officials are being trained in high-speed rail technology at Chengdu in China, 20 officers have already been trained in Japan and 38 more are undergoing the training programme there.
The training programme in China is for two weeks and in Japan the study course is for 20 days.