If Trains Are Delayed, Railway Officials To Face Delays In Appraisals

| June 3 , 2018 , 14:57 IST

In an unusual style of trying to get trains to run on time, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has warned heads of zonal railways that delays in train services will result in proportional delays in their respective appraisals, giving them one month to improve before enforcing the new protocol.

A senior railway ministry source quoted by PTI on Sunday said that Goyal, during an internal meeting last week, told zonal managers that they cannot hide behind the pretext of maintenance work to explain delays in train services.

In the 2017-2018 fiscal, 30 percent of trains were running late on the railway network and the numbers failed to improve even during summer holiday season.

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The Northern Railways witnessed the poorest punctuality performance, recording an 49.59 percent punctuality till May 29.

"While the minister has taken a lot of flak for the delays, he knew it was a price he had to pay for the large-scale renewal of tracks. However, the punctuality figures are way worse than what we had expected. Clearly, the zones are using maintenance work as an excuse to hide their inefficiency," the source said.

Goyal also quoted reports to explain how misuse of resources have also led to delays, giving an example of Nizamuddin railway station in New Delhi when engineers reportedly wasted Rs 25 lakh in a failed attempt to replace a girder.

"The minister demanded accountability from the GMs and said such wasteful blocks should not be taken. He was aghast that such unnecessary delays were happening during the holiday season when trains are in high demand," the source said.

"He has now made it clear that by June 30, if he doesn't see improvement, the respective GMs will not be considered for promotion. He also said that their performance ratings will depend on where they figure on the delay list. The lower they are, the worse for them," the source added.