Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has asked the railway officials to improve punctuality rate or "face action" as the number of complaints being received over late running of trains are increasing.
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 obviate the problems. The punctuality rate has deteriorated further to 79 per cent during April 1-16 period, as compared to 84 per cent in the corresponding period last year, a decrease of 4 per cent.
Analysis of performance of zonal railways reveals that punctuality has registered a sharp drop over Eastern Railway (-8.9 per cent), North Eastern Railway (-11 per cent), East Central Railway (-10 per cent), South East Central Railway (-11 per cent), West Central Railway (-8 per cent) and Konkan Railway (-6.9 per cent).
Division-wise analysis of punctuality reveals that the performance of 11 divisions including Varanasi, Mumbai, Sambalpur, Danapur, Samastipur, Jhansi, Jabalpur leaves much to be desired, according to the letter written by Railway Minister office to all zonal heads.
The Railway Minister has expressed his deep concern regarding further deterioration by over 4 per cent 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.