The bigger culprit 4

I have always thought that strikes cause huge man-day losses to the country. Strikes cripple everything, industrial activity, movement of people, transports, communication, schools, hospitals, power & water supply. Many times, forcing others not to work results in violence causing loss of human lives and damage to public and private property. Supreme Court had rightly declared strike as illegal.

But the other day I came to know that Railways are the bigger culprit. It has been reported that train delays cause far more man-day losses than caused by strikes. A study was conducted by a leading newspaper on a particular day (midnight to midnight) at Delhi’s three major railway stations – old Delhi, New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin. It was found that more than eight out of every 10 express trains arriving at these stations were delayed. Sixteen out of 20 Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains were delayed. It resulted in loss of 2.2 lakh man-hours. If we extrapolate these figures to the entire railway network the man-day losses will be unthinkable. And we treat train delays as routine.

It is criminal. But the railway minister is being praised for earning profit for railways. Even if we assume that profit figures are not manipulated (which they are), the loss due to train delays will be much more than the projected profit.