Indian Railways claimed it has achieved 100 per cent punctuality rate — for the “first time in its history” — on July 1. That means none of its passenger trains faced delays and their departures and arrivals were on time. It is, however, important to note that only a fraction of the total trains are currently running, which means less congestion on tracks. Its previous best, according to the Railways, was 99.54 per cent on June 23, when a train got delayed.
Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal Thursday tweeted: “Trains in the Fast Lane: Enhancing services to unprecedented levels, Indian Railways made history on 1st July, 2020 by achieving 100% punctuality rate.”
Trains in the Fast Lane: Enhancing services to unprecedented levels, Indian Railways made history on 1st July, 2020 by achieving 100% punctuality rate. pic.twitter.com/zqNXFNx4Z6
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) July 2, 2020
All special trains — 12 pairs running on the Rajdhani routes since May 12 and 100 pairs operating since June 1 — are continuing even as the Railways has cancelled all regular trains till August 12.
Last month, the railways had sent a missive to its zones to ensure 100 per cent punctuality in the running of 230 special trains, which is less than two per cent of the 13,000 trains that normally run on the railway network.
Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav had asked all general managers and divisional railway managers to ensure that the 15 pairs of Rajdhani special trains and 100 pairs of passenger trains maintain their schedule without any delays. He had also said that since the number of trains being run on the network is currently small, the punctuality has to be 100 per cent, according to PTI.
Meanwhile, the Railways on Wednesday formally kickstarted its plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains on its network by inviting request for qualifications (RFQ) for participation on 109 pairs of routes through 151 modern trains, the national transporter said.
The project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore, the national transporter said.
This is the first initiative for private investment for running passenger trains on the Indian Railways network. It began last year with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) introducing the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express.
The Railways has ferried 60 lakh migrant workers home since May 1 through Shramik Special trains but managed to recover only 15 per cent of operational cost.
Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said the average fare per person on Shramik Special trains was Rs 600 and the national transporter had run 4,450 Shramik trains so far. The Railways generated a revenue of around Rs 360 crore.
Also, over 60 per cent of train tickets were cancelled in March due to coronavirus, the Railways Board chairman had informed a parliamentary panel
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