Safety was the first priority of the Indian railways and that passengers were well aware why trains were getting delayed, said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, at a press conference highlighting the achievements of the ministry in four years.
He said, “Maintenance of the tracks, which was due for decades, is causing train delays. The passengers are well aware why the trains are getting delayed and they know that the Indian Railways is getting future-ready. Everyone knows what we have received in inheritance.”
He added the railways had registered its best ever safety record in 2017-18 with major train accidents now reduced to 62 percent – from 118 in 2013-14 to 73 in the year 2017-18.
“As much as Rs 16,000 crore from the total Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh fund of Rs 1 lakh crore has already been spent by the Ministry in a bid to improve safety. We are totally in the process of replacing of old tracks with the new ones. From 2,296 kms in 2013-15, the number rose to 4,405 kms in 2017-18,” he added.
He released the statement in wake of the report that stated that the Railways’ punctuality score has largely fallen to 65% in the last three months, which was recorded as one of the lowest figures reported by Indian railways in recent times.
“This compromise on punctuality to some extent was unavoidable. We have to get traffic blocked, stop the trains when all these works are going on as that reduces accidents,” Goel said.
He also launched two mobile applications during the conference to improve the travel experiences:
1. Rail Madad: This app is for grievance redressal and will allow passengers to lodge complaints through mobile app/web platform
This madad app will provide direct calling facility for immediate assistance
2. Menu on Rail: This app will allow passengers to check the list of meals and beverages served on all type of trains and their prices.
The app will cover four categories namely beverages, breakfast, meals and a-la-carte.