Indian Railways is one of the most searched phrases in India for Bookings, PNR Status, Vacancies and most importantly for Timings. Why are the Indian Railways, the lifeline of the common people in India, in the news again? Indian Railways is operated by the Ministry of Railways and is the fourth-largest railway network in the world and runs more than 13,000 passenger trains every day, on both long-distance and suburban routes.
Indian Railways has recorded the worst punctuality record in the 2017-18 financial year. This is the worst and an all-time low record for the Indian railways, in the last 3 years. Statistics by the Indian Railways reveal that between April of last year and March 2018, almost 30% of both mail and express passenger trains were running late, across India. This is a very high figure in comparison to the Indian railway’s statistics shared in the 2 financial years before that.
The Indian Railways Woes
Senior officials of the Indian Railways stated that many factors contributed to this ‘worst punctuality’ record. Some of the reasons cited include malfunctioning of the signals, the breakdown of the rolling stock, failure of the overhead equipment and more.
As reported in the Xinhua, a senior official said: “The Indian Railways is trying its best to spruce up its performance, despite several odds. We know that punctuality is a problem. But we are trying to fix it. Gradually we will make all trains stick to the schedule”
Even though the Indian railways has its fair share of explanation and an assurance for better punctuality in the future, the commuters are disappointed and far from being convinced. Commuters state that the Indian railways gives assurances every year but fails to show promising results.
Will Indian Railways Deliver Results?
The Indian Railways has been taking several measures to improve its punctuality and functionality. Disciplinary actions against employees failing to deliver efficiency is just one of the many measures being taken by the authorities. The Indian Railways is one of the largest rail networks that runs across India from the North to the South. It carries approximately twenty-three million passengers every single day with around nine thousand running passenger trains.
The Indian Railways is more than just a rail network. It is a semi-state encompassing, construction companies, schools and hospitals, and even a police force of itself. Approximately 1.3 million employees are under the Indian Railways payroll, making it the 7th largest employer in the whole world. Even after being such a vast enterprise, the number of disasters and accidents is not less. The infrastructure dates back to the colonial era and is in need of an effective re-work. Accidents include derailments, that causes a large number of people to lose their lives. Indian PM Modi has pledged billions of dollars in 2015, to modernise, revamp and expand the Indian Railways.