With a number of complaints being received over late running of trains, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has cracked the whip on officials concerned, asking them to improve punctuality rate or "face action".
Zonal heads have been asked to deploy a senior-level officer in the night shift between 10 pm and 7 am immediately to monitor the situation and address the problems, if any, to prevent delay in train running.
Besides, Prabhu has also taken note of discrepancies between train timings data available on national train enquiry system (NTES), the official website of Indian Railways, and actual train timings being experienced by passengers.
He, in a letter to the officials, has sought immediate corrective measures to solve the problems.
The punctuality rate has deteriorated further to 79 percent during 1-16 April period, as compared to 84 percent in the corresponding period last year, a decrease of 5 percent.
Analysis of performance of zonal railways reveals that punctuality has registered a sharp drop over Eastern Railway (-8.9 percent), North Eastern Railway (-11 percent), East Central Railway (-10 percent), South East Central Railway (- 11 percent), West Central Railway (-8 percent) and Konkan Railway (-6.9 percent).
Division-wise analysis of punctuality reveals that the performance of 11 divisions including Varanasi, Mumbai, Sambalpur, Danapur, Samastipur, Jhansi and Jabalpur leaves much to be desired, according to the letter written by Railway Minister’s office to all zonal heads.
The Railway Minister has expressed his deep concern regarding further deterioration by over 5 percent in punctuality between 1-16 April and directed that very close monitoring of these divisions should be done by senior officers in the 10 pm-7 am shift with immediate effect, the letter stated.
According to the instruction, besides monitoring overall performance, these officers should take immediate steps to minimise asset failure time and co-ordinate with divisional and control offices of neighbouring divisions to make up for delay, if any, in their own divisions.
The names and mobile numbers of these officers should be conveyed to Board's Punctuality Control on a daily basis, it stated.