The dozens of trains are running very late every day, but no one cares, neither Railways nor Media!
Nagpur: Even if Nagpur division of Central Railway has claimed that it has improved punctuality of trains to 97%, data analysed on punctuality of select trains showed that these trains never arrived on time on 90% of the times.
The etrain.info, a website sharing complete information about railways, reveals that of the 365 days, 12724 New Delhi- Hyderabad Telangana Express arrived late for 311 days (86%). Similarly, 11039 Kolhapur-Gondia Maharashtra Express arrived late on 342 days (94%) at Ajni railway station.
The analysis has been done by RTI activist Avinash Prabhune after his kin were among the affected passengers due to the delayed arrival of these trains.
Prabhune says the punctuality data of etrain.info, through a private website having no association with the railways, matched with the railway official site - National Train Enquiry System (NTES).
"While the etrain.info showed data on punctuality for all days, at NTES site the data was available for last four days only. The private and railway sites' punctuality data matched with each other," said Prabhune.
As far as Telangana Express is concerned, in the past 30 days, the train arrived late in Nagpur on 29 days (97%). The average delay was 69 minutes during the period. The train arrived on time only on one day. Similarly, in the last 90 days, the train arrived late in 81 days.
Prabhune says even 11039 Kolhapur-Gondia Maharashtra Express, having scheduled arrival at Ajni at 4.03pm, never arrived on time. In the last 30 days, it arrived late in 28 days with an average delay of 53 minutes. It arrived right time only on 2 days.
On October 1, scheduled arrival of Telangana Express was shown as 9.35pm. Initially, the train was running 12 minutes late. The digital boards displayed arrival at 9.50pm but finally, the train arrived at 10.35pm.
"There was no official message to update the correct train running status to passengers waiting at the platform, though technically it was easily possible. Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) too has passed strictures against punctuality," Prabhune pointed out.
A railway passenger named Dipanshu Shrivastav, on tweeter, says- 'dozens of trains are running late every day but no one cares, neither railways nor media.' See here screens shots of NTES who shows many trains are delayed by 4 hrs to 24 hrs, who is responsible? asks Shrivastav.
When sought to know, railway spokesperson and assistant commercial manager (ACM) S. G. Rao says, "There is no margin time for Telangana Express. Even if the train arrived late, it covers the time while reaching Ballarshah. We count punctuality from end to end point of our division."
Rao said there are several factors for delay in between. Over 100 mail/express trains pass through Nagpur division between Itarsi and Ballarshah and maintaining punctuality is a big challenge, especially when freight traffic is equally high.
"Though there are many factors affecting punctuality like the asset (engine & coach) or traction failures, we have improved things steadily," Rao said.
On the contrary, Prabhune says, maintaining punctuality of trains plays a key role in introducing new trains. While railways have been doing it on the pretext of operational efficiency, in reality, most trains are not punctual causing grave inconvenience to passengers.
"It not only wastes valuable time of passengers but also exposes lack of utilization of electronic and digital systems, which the railways had adopted by spending huge amounts under the garb of benefiting passengers," he adds.