Train delays to cost officials their promotions

In what should come as a relief to railway passengers frustrated by delays in services, trains are now likely to run on time as any deviation from the schedule will cost officials of the transporter their promotions.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has warned heads of zonal railways that delays in train services will defer their appraisal proportionately, giving them a month to improve punctuality.

During an internal meeting last week, Mr. Goyal lashed out at zonal general managers, and said that they cannot hide behind the pretext of maintenance work to explain delays in train services, a senior Railway Ministry source said.

In the 2017-18 fiscal, 30% of the trains were running late on the railway network, with the numbers failing to pick up even during the holiday season this summer.

The General Manager of Northern Railway bore the brunt of Mr. Goyal’s wrath, with the region recording an abysmal 49.59% punctuality till May 29, a 32.74% dip from the corresponding period last year. Mr. Goyal, who faced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s queries on punctuality of trains at the Pragati meeting last month, was particularly harsh on the Northern Railways chief.