To do away with false reporting of data related to failure of assets causing safety threats, accidents and punctuality by zonal railways, Indian Railways has decided that 2018 will be zero year where no comparison of data will be done with previous year to judge the performance of zonal railways.
Railway Board in an order to all 17 Zonal Railways said that it is reviewing annual performance agreement between Zonal Railways and Railway Board.
“With an emphasis on truthful reporting of asset failures and train punctuality and to bring about a culture of righteousness in the way we maintain statistical data, it has been decided that the year 2018-19 will be treated as a zero year, wherein no comparison of asset failures and punctuality will be done vis-à-vis last year to gauge the performance of a zonal railway,” said the directive issued by the Efficiency and Research division in Railway Board.
It further said that in the agreement signed with the railway board, these parameters will not be taken into consideration for any kind of evaluation of performance.
According to sources, zonal railways try to trim down the numbers of failure of assets like signals, tracks, engines and others while reporting to Railway Board to avoid making it to red list. Even, punctuality data of running of trains is tweaked to avoid falling to poor category.
The ministry had issued a directive earlier also encouraging zonal railways to ensure truthful reporting of data. But, now it has decided to do away with routine comparison process with previous year to judge performance of a zone.
“This move should encourage zonal railways to report failures truthfully and not worry about adverse comparisons with last year’s figures. It may be appreciated that until and unless an honest and realistic picture of the present state of affairs prevailing on the system is generated, any kind of improvement will not be possible,” the directive said.
Several train accidents is last two years have been attributed to poor asset management.
Railways Board has said that it is imperative that all general managers and DRMs lay strong emphasis on correct reporting of asset failures, accidents and train punctuality and project the same in the online reporting system.