Saturday, February 2, 2008

Train Tantrums!

Every year budget tries to bring changes in our economy, so as to make standard of living of people better. But how far budgets are successful from common man’s perspective is a debatable question! Isn’t privatization of high essence for Indian Railways?

Daily thousands of passengers traveling through Indian Railways have to suffer like anything, aren’t changes long overdue for making our railways better? Though day-by-day ticket fairs are rising, quality-wise things are deteriorating. What a common man used to get with same price a few years back in Sleeper coach now get in A/c coach, that too not up to the mark.

Daily, many passengers suffer even after paying extra fines such that they also have to satisfy the whims of Ticket Checkers. Though berths are available, so many people have to bear due to wrongdoings of TCs. Why can’t more trains be made available to cater to the needs of people, when daily passengers are stranded due to lack of reservations? Isn’t it wrong that even after paying fines i.e. more then their due share of ticket expenses and yet people don’t even get a place to sit? Isn’t it humiliating?

And Security is a big question in general and especially for women passengers traveling all alone. Security guards go in A/c coach but what about sleeper class? Why, people paying less have different security standards?

Lack of reservation, lack of space, beggars, mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies, dried water resources for long journeys, unhygienic washrooms and washbasins, lack of dustbins, sale of tobacco, trash quality of food, hammering of vendors and railway employees for food selling, people without reservation in reserved compartments, nuisance of people spitting from windows, etc are a few problems to hint.

If normal things are not provided hitherto forget about the dream of high-tech train where there are food lounge, library facility to kill time in long journeys, better ventilation to make the journey enjoyable and pleasurable, phone facility in time of emergency, variety of cuisine, internet, café, sign boards of destination routes to make it easy for a person traveling for the first time, etc. All this of course with a price to pay, because nothing is available free-of-charge! But wish charges are nominal and affordable and not like The Royal Orient and Palace on Wheels. And of course not to forget hygienic platforms to go with our high-tech trains just like Vijaywada platform or may be even better. Wish there can be exuberant charges for spitting, dumping waste and smoking, etc. Though it is a long shot, hope we can achieve the dream of high-tech hygiene train with perseverance and active contribution from the citizens of India and Indian Railways as a joint venture.

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