Is the Central Railway claim of achieving 95% punctuality true?
An application was filed with the Central Railways, Nagpur under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the actual arrival and departure times of six trains at Ajni and Nagpur stations for the months of August and September. The cluster of six trains mentioned in the reply included Gondia Kolhapur Maharashtra Express, LTT-Howrah Express, LTT- Shalimar Express, Santragachi-Nanded Express, Kamakhya-LTT Super Fast and Howrah-Shirdi Super Fast Express.
The application was filed on the basis of a claim of Nagpur Central Railway that it had achieved the target of 95.9% punctuality during the period from April, 2013 to August, 2013. The reply to the application reveals that Maharashtra Express was never on time at Ajni station and made a delay of 9-126 minutes with average delay being around 37 minutes. However, the train arrived at Nagpur station on time during the whole period. But on its return journey, the train reached Nagpur station 10-20 minutes late on 48 days out of 60 days. As per the reply, Shalimar Express was never on time at Ajni station during the whole period. The Santragachi-Nanded Express, Kamakhya-LTT and Howrah-Shirdi express, all of which are biweekly, were on time at Ajni on 12 occasions and were late on 15 occasions.
This is to be noted that the report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had found that trains in India were late 54% of times including privilege trains like Rajdhani Express. It has also noted that railways measures punctuality from operational perspectives when it should report punctuality from passengers’ perspective.