New Delhi: Eighteen per cent of Rajdhani trains and 9% of Shatabdi Express trains were running late for the first six months of this fiscal, according to data received in an RTI reply.
In the 2018-2019 fiscal, 23% of Rajdhani trains and 13% of Shatabdi trains were delayed, while 44% of Garib Rath Express were running late and 53% of Suvidha Express trains delayed between April to September 2019.
Till September of this fiscal, the railways has recorded punctuality of around 74% and 71% for its mail express and passenger trains respectively.
In the RTI query, Bhopal-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur asked the railways for its punctuality figures from 2016-2017 to September of financial year 2019-2020.
The data shows that while the railways has managed to improve the performance of Garib Rath Express from 60% in 2018-2019 to 65%, the performance of Suvidha trains have come down from from 64.87% the previous fiscal to 47% till September of 2019-2020.
Similarly, in 2018-19, the punctuality of mail and express trains was 69.23% while that of passenger trains was 68%.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report last year said the cause of delays was due to serious flaws in the government's ₹1 trillion station redevelopment plans and blamed it on lack of enough space for trains on stations and dearth of basic infrastructure.
Recently, the railways introduced a system linking its trains to a satellite network of ISRO to collect real-time updates on them to make sure the train is on time. It has also taken up various modernisation drives such as laying new tracks, improvement in signalling systems, among others.
Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal has directed all zonal railways to run trains "at maximum permissible speed." All factors that contributed to the slowing down of trains, such as unmanned level crossings, non-interlocked sections and single-line operations, were being eliminated on a fast track mode, a senior official said.