Negligible Increase In Speed By 5km/hr, 'Superfast' Levy Imposed On 48 Trains
The Indian Railways has upgraded 48 express trains to the category of superfast trains by increasing the speed to 5 km/hour on 1 November as per the new timetable, reports NDTV. However, the railways have also decided on increasing the fare of these upgraded ‘superfast’ trains.
The new superfast trains include Pune-Amravati AC Express, Pataliputra-Chandigarh Express, Visakhapatnam-Nanded Express, Delhi-Pathankot Express, Kanpur-Udhampur Express, Chhapra-Mathura Express, Rock Fort Chennai-Tiruchirapally Express, Bangalore-Shimoga Express, Tata-Visakhapatnam Express, Darbhanga-Jalandhar Express, Mumbai-Mathura Express and Mumbai-Patna Express.
With these 48 trains, the total number of superfast trains has risen to 1,072.
It is important to note that this upgradation would not imply any better facilities for the passengers. However, passengers will have to pay Rs 30 more for Sleeper, Rs 45 for Second and Third AC and Rs 75 for First AC class as superfast charges.
The Indian Railways is running at a loss, and it is estimated that the imposition of these levies would enable them to help them deal with the losses.
Observations by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)
The CAG report found out that the Indian Railways have not formed any rules to deal with the refund of the passengers’ money when the trains are not running on their expected.
The report also points out that North Central and South Central Railways, after having levied the superfast charges from the period 2013-14 to 2015-16 from the passengers on days, where 21 superfast trains fell short of the average speed of 55 kmph (on the broad gauge), made a profit of about Rs 11.17 crore.
As per data available with the railways, 890 superfast trains had run late during July, August and September this year.
Delay in Indian Railways is a factor with which passengers have almost made peace with it.
According to Railway norms, a train that is up to 15 minutes late is considered to be on time.
Beyond that, the punctuality parameters are divided into three categories viz. 16 to 30 minutes, 31 to 45 minutes and 46 to 60 minutes. The last and most crucial segment is “more than an hour”, which is open-ended – it covers all trains that are late by more than an hour, irrespective of the delay.