Indian Train Travelled At 409 Km/Hr, Faster Than Bullet Train: CAG Audit
It looks as if India’s dream of running Bullet trains on its tracks has become a reality at least four years ahead of its target of 2022 as a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report found out that one of the trains run by Indian Railways managed to touch a speed of 409 km/h to cover 116 km distance in 17 minutes between Fatehpur and Allahabad. At least on paper!
CAG audit finds major discrepancies
It is evident from the report that there had been erroneous entries with regards to the timings of the train. The major discrepancy was discovered by CAG while auditing data entries of three trains–Prayag Raj Express, Jaipur-Allahabad Express and New Delhi-Allahabad Duronto Express. The report puts a question mark on the Indian Railways’ data integrity as the Integrated Coaching Management System (ICMS) was fed with incorrect data.
CAG in its audit said, “During the year 2016-17, the three trains (Prayag Raj Express, Jaipur- Allahabad Express and New Delhi-Allahabad Duronto Express) operated on 354, 343 and 144 days respectively out of which they took less than 53 minutes (on 25, 29 and 31 days respectively) to travel a distance of 116 km between Fatehpur and Allahabad.”
Whereas, according to the Indian Railways, a train takes at least 53 minutes at a maximum speed of 130 kmph to cover the distance Allahabad Junction and Fatehpur, which is not even close to the findings of the CAG report.
The ICMS is also responsible for showing the real-time data of train operations which is also reflected in the National Train Enquiry System (NTES). Reportedly the incorrect information had caused a great deal of inconvenience to the passengers who were shown the wrong timing of arrival at the Allahabad Junction.
In two other trains, similar discrepancies were found where on April 10 2017, Jaipur Allahabad Express reached Fatehpur at 5:56 am and Allahabad at 5:31 am, while on the Punctuality Performance Table, a delay of 36 minutes in Allahabad was shown. Similarly, on March 7, 2017, Prayag Raj Express reached Allahabad at 6:50 am but according to the data entry the train left Subedarganj, a station prior to Allahabad at 7:45 am.
The Logical Indian Take
Punctuality of trains has been compromised heavily over the past and not just that, cleanliness has also been questioned repeatedly. A large number of people depend upon the data timings provided by the Ministry of Railways, it causes a great deal of inconvenience for them if the ministry makes mistakes like these, which only decreases its credibility.