NEW DELHI: Indian Railways slammed for late running of trains round the year Friday blamed inclement weather conditions, public agitation and mid-section run over cases involving cattle and humans delayed 5893 trains in last one year.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said that during the last one year (July 2014-June 2015), Indian Railways have achieved 78 percent punctuality for Mail/Express trains on terminating basis. On Indian Railways, punctuality figure for Mail/Express trains are calculated on terminating basis after a train has completed its journey.
“During the last one year 5893 trains were rescheduled due to late arrival of trains owing to various reasons. Broadly, trains lose punctuality on Indian Railways due to factors related to its internal working as well as external factors of which Railways are not in control of,” Sinha said replying to a question in Rajya Sabha.
The minister said that other than asset failures, various constraints which adversely affect punctuality include line capacity constraints on account of increasing passenger and freight traffic, adverse weather conditions (fog, rains, breaches); intermittent natural calamities such as floods, cyclones and heavy rains.
Heavy road traffic at level crossing gates across the Indian Railways network; multi faceted law and order problems, including public agitations and bandh calls in left wing extremism affected areas, miscreant activities such as theft of Railway assets; mid-section run over cases involving cattle and humans are other reasons causing delay.
“Punctuality performance of Mail/Express trains, particularly those traversing through quadrilateral routes such as Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai corridors have been adversely impacted as these sectors are facing severe capacity constraint due to saturated line capacity,” he said.
These routes are also intensely being used for carrying freight traffic including raw materials, coal for power generation needs, petroleum products, food grains, fertilizer, steel and export oriented container traffic.
He further said that Indian Railways has initiated various measures to improve punctuality such as prioritization of preventive maintenance of assets to minimize asset failures, capacity enhancement projects by construction of additional loop lines at stations, doubling, construction of third line corridors, automatic signaling, construction of low height subways replacing level crossings, Rail Under Bridges and Rail Over Bridges.
“In addition, Zonal Railways have also been advised to have better co-ordination with Civil and Police authorities of States to deal with situations arising out of law and order problems,” the minister added.
To ease off decongestion of traffic on the Indian Railways network, Eastern and Western dedicated freight corridors have already been sanctioned and their execution is in progress. Once these corridors become operational, punctuality performance of passenger carrying trains is likely to improve.