Despite investing Rs 2.5 lakh crore on track infra, Railways failed to improve mobility outcomes: CAG

Despite investing Rs 2.5 lakh crore on track infra, Railways failed to improve mobility outcomes: CAG

New Delhi: The national auditor Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) of India has slammed Indian Railways for not improving track infrastructure despite investing Rs 2.5 lakh crore on mobility augmentation.

The CAG in its report, which was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, said that Indian Railways has failed to improve on mobility outcomes despite investing Rs 2.5 lakh crores on track infrastructure from 2008 to 2019. The audit report of the CAG found 31 compliance issues of the Ministry of Railways during 2019-20.

The CAG report highlighted the failure of 'Mission Raftaar' which was introduced in 2016-17 with a targeted average speed of 50 kilometres per hour (kmph) for mail or express trains and 75 kmph for freight trains by 2021-22.

"The average observed speed of Mail/Express and freight trains until 2019-20 was, however, still around 50.6 kmph and 23.6 kmph, respectively. Out of 478 superfast (SF) trains, the scheduled speed of 123 SF trains (26 per cent) was less than the specified speed of 55 kmph," the CAG report said.

"Six main internal critical factors contributing 66 per cent of total detention of trains were identified as controllable. Indian Railways has no guaranteed delivery time for the goods consignment. This was due to non-scheduling of Goods trains operation," it said.

However, the CAG has maintained that the Ministry of Railways has accepted all audit recommendations. The CAG report has also stated that the Indian Railways incurred an avoidable expenditure of Rs 968.73 crore towards procurement of power from Bhartiya Rail Bijlee Company (BRBCL).

"This avoidable expenditure includes Rs 463.30 crore towards fixed capacity charges and Rs 505.43 crore due to injudicious decision to discontinue power purchase agreement with Tata Power-Distribution and procurement of power from BRBCL at a higher tariff," the CAG report observed.

The CAG has also found flaws in the implementation of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project. As per the findings of the CAG report, the DFCCIL incurred an avoidable expenditure of Rs 285.21 crore during the land acquisition process.

"The progress of the project got adversely affected due to delay in awarding of contracts. There was also a delay in the appointment of consultants for up to 32 months. DFCCIL incurred an avoidable extra expenditure of Rs 2,233.81 crore till March 2021 towards price escalation. This was due to delay in completion of project," the CAG said.

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