December 14, 2018
Nadimul Haque speaks on the demand for improvement in infrastructure in Indian Railways
Hon’ble Chairman, Indian Railways is one of the biggest railway networks in the world. The organisation has however been unable in ensuring that the infrastructure development kept pace with this growing traffic. This has also reflected in the quality of services, which have largely been poor.
CAG recently conducted an audit, studying 15 railway stations across the country with maximum traffic, including Allahabad, Kanpur, Mathura, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction (Mughal Sarai), Chennai Central, Howrah, Bhopal, Ahmedabad and New Delhi railway stations. Its aim was to assess whether the available infrastructure is adequate for handling the present and expected traffic load or not.
The findings paint a grim picture of the Indian Railways. It points to the fact that failure in adequately investing in infrastructure is one of the key reasons behind delays in train services. Trains have to wait at outer signals or the adjacent station until the platform is vacated by the earlier train because of non-availability of platforms and the detention of goods trains was significantly higher as well.
A look at the station development plans is enough to tell us that the authorities are not paying enough attention to this problem. The plans do not focus on removing constraints and bottlenecks for ensuring timely arrival and departure of trains, which should be one of the most important parameters of the quality of service being provided to passengers. Instead, the authorities are busy renaming stations.
The government needs to realise that changing names of stations won’t help trains come on time. But, adequately investing for increasing the platform length, providing adequate yard capacity and facilities for stabling and maintenance of trains in stations would. I, therefore, would like to urge the government to provide adequate infrastructural support in improving such facilities in Indian Railways.