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CAG REPORT : Punctuality of Rajdhani, Shatabdi 53% during 2007-08

Turnaround of Indian Railways

New Delhi : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on Friday , 24 July punctured Indian Railways punctuality claims saying that even the prestigious Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains reached destinations late on 53 per cent of their runs during 2007-08.
In its latest performance audit of the Railway Ministry, tabled in Parliament on Friday, the CAG said Indian Railways addressed punctuality solely as an operational aspect wherein trains handed over late by one zone to another were recorded as being punctual so long as they did not get delayed further. While the zones continued to report a healthy punctuality performance, trains repeatedly reached destinations beyond their scheduled time. Even prestigious Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains reached destinations late on 53 per cent of their runs during 2007-08. Punctuality was being incorrectly reported by the zones, the report said.
After conducting an independent assessment of punctuality of 568 trains across Indian Railways, the CAG found that on 79,122 out of the 1,45,886 runs, the trains reached their destinations beyond their scheduled time of arrival. Simply put, 54 per cent of these trains were running late. Also, on 30,487 runs, the delays were in excess of one hour, the CAG stated.
The CAG observed that the delays were more due to factors like engineering delays, signal failures, loco failures and miscellaneous reasons than due to external factors or untoward incidents. These delays lead to blocking the path of other trains thereby setting in motion a chain of delays apart from leading to increased fuel consumption towards maintaining the engine (both in the case of electric and diesel locos) during the period of delay and overtime payments to the running staff, the report said. And Rs 47.41 crore was incurred as extra expenditure on fuel consumption on 79,122 delayed runs. Out of these 79,122 instances of delayed runs, 23,247 were on superfast trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Sampark Kranti trains. During 2007-08, the 37 Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains that were reviewed reached their destinations late on 53 per cent (4,956 out of 9,378 runs) of the occasions, the report said.
The ministry, in its response submitted in December 2008, accepted CAG’s view and stated that it was implementing the Integrated Coaching Management System which will provide real time and accurate reporting. The Railways stated that most of the factors adversely affecting punctuality of trains were beyond its control.

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