New Delhi: Punctuality of trains has shown a decline, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken note of and the Railway Ministry has been asked to tone up the system.
According to railway data, the month of March last year saw punctuality of 84.43 per cent while the figure for the same month now stands at 79 per cent on a nationwide basis.
It is learnt that Modi has taken note of the deterioration of the punctuality rate in train services due to late running of important trains.
PMO has also received several complaints from MPs, ministers and passengeres about trains running way behind schedule. Some complainants have questioned why punctuality could not be maintained when it could be done during the Emergency.
In view of this, instructions have been given to all concerned to make an all-out efforts for running of trains as per schedule and prevent late arrival and departure, said a senior Railway Ministry involved with the monitoring of passenger train movement.
Railway Board Member (Traffic) Ajay Shukla, however, maintained that it is a routine exercise.
"We constantly monitor train movement as it is our job. We also regularly send details to PMO," Shukla said.
He, however, said there are cases of incorrect reporting of train timings which are being done by manually feeding wrong information about the movement of trains in the central coaching operations information system.
"I have given instruction for correct feeding of information of train running," he said.
Shukla said the punctuality of Rajdhani trains have gone up 90 per cent in recent time.
According to Traffic Directorate, there are several reasons for late running including signal malfunction, rolling stock breakdown, overhead equipment failure which contributes decline in punctuality rate.