In an attempt to ensure punctuality and quality in service, the Indian Railways plans to introduce 'mega blocks' on Sundays. These 'blocks' will be put in place to carry out repair work on sections of railway tracks and trains will not be allowed to run in that duration.
The new move will make train journeys longer but is expected to help fast-track safety-related work on developing infrastructure. From 15 August 2018, a new timetable will be set to incorporate the time for maintenance requirement, said minister for railways and coal Piyush Goyal in a press conference.
These mega blocks will be scheduled for 5 to 6 hours on Sundays depending on the railway section and for 2 hours on other days. In order to avoid inconvenience, free food and water will be served to passengers in the reserved category, if they are traveling by a train running during meal hours. The meal will be served by the railway arm IRCTC.
Facility to the non-reserved category is still to be analyzed by the railway department as it will be difficult to ascertain the number of passengers, said the railway minister. Information on the scheduled blocks will be sent through text messages to reserved categories, besides advertised notices.
"We have decided to draw a new timetable to provide blocks in a planned manner. Infrastructure development will be carried out during the blocks," said Goyal.
Additionally, unscheduled blocks will also be allotted on demand for emergency works and given priority.
He also tweeted on Monday that the Indian Railways trains will be repainted in new colours.
Indian Railways will repaint coaches in new colours; revamp will give customers a delightful experience of travelling in the train. pic.twitter.com/IY4SMHYQTt— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) 18 June 2018