The government today said about 16 per cent of the total train trips across the country were delayed by more than an hour till December 20 this year. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that out of a total of 438,585 scheduled mail and express train services during the period, 71,062, i.e. about 16 per cent, were delayed by more than an hour. He said several measures have been initiated to improve punctuality such as prioritisation of preventive maintenance of assets to minimise asset failures, and capacity enhancement by construction of additional loop lines at stations.
“Besides, punctuality drives are launched from time to time.” Gohain denied that staff shortage and inadequate infrastructure led to such delays. He said that recruitment of staff and building infrastructure are continuous process. As of April 1, 2017, Gohain said there were 2,20,137 vacancies of non-gazetted staff in the railways.