In the past few years, Indian Railways has been sharpening focus on its development for boosting growth and ensuring customer satisfaction but is it really shining as it was expected to? Read about the latest report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), which will tell you, why Railways needs to be fixed.
Below are a few findings of the CAG report:
1. Know about the food you eat?
As per the CAG report, the food that is served by the railways is not fit for human consumption. Snacks such as sandwiches, juices, flavoured milk, biscuits, etc. doesn’t match the basic hygiene standards. “Unpurified water straight from the tap was used in the preparation of beverages. Waste bins were not found covered, nor emptied regularly or washed. Food stuff was not covered to protect them from flies, insects, and dust. Rats and cockroaches were found in trains,” says the CAG report.
2 . How super fast is your train?
Did you know, as ‘superfast’ surcharges, railways levied and collected INR 11.17 crore from its passengers? But 21 super fast trains were late for 3,000 days out of 16,804 as they failed to attain the ‘superfast’ speed, says the CAG report. Some of the superfast trains were even delayed more than 95% times. As per a study on the movement of some of the superfast trains between 2013 and 2016 revealed that the Kolkata-Agra Cantonment Superfast was late 138 days out of 145. So, according to the report, even if you pay extra for super fast travel, there is no guarantee you will reach your destination in time.
3. When was the last time the dirty linen was washed?
The blankets provided by the railways during your overnight train travel might be unwashed. Washing of the linen should be done after every use and the blankets needs to be dry-cleaned every two months. But as per the CAG report, washing and sanitation of linen, as well as the blankets, are not done as per the norms established by the Indian Railways itself. The CAG report also stated that, in 14 selected depots, under nine zonal railways, no blankets had been dry-cleaned in the said period.
4. Delay in electrification drive!
Indian Railways have begun a major electrification drive as electric trains are cheaper to run than the diesel ones. But as per the CAG report, this progress has been hampered with delays in processing the proposals, assigning the projects, approval of detailed estimates, execution of agreements and completion of projects. “The objective of saving time for deciding whether or not to take up a section for the railway electrification is not being fulfilled due to delays in processing the proposals and preparation of abstract estimates, which was up to 59 months in 24 projects,” CAG says.