Rail Budget has lots of promises for common passengers as it had in last July 2014 Budget too like on cleanliness and CCTVs to monitor cleanliness activities but nothing positive is seen on its results.
Train fares are not increased to benefit commuters –whatever toll promises (dream) are made the big question is how funds shall be generated? One measure is advertisements on rail coaches and platforms etc even corporate names may be used for trains or stations names etc. This is not desirable at least to give their names to stations and lots of advertisements shall spoil the beauty of trains and stations. Even advertisements on Metro coaches in Delhi look awfully bad. The alternative is to lay a stone / banner at appropriate places etc with their name of corporate company only who is financing helping in funds generation for its specific services.
States’ participation in funding is welcome but politically it must ensure smooth running in long term.
One way to increase revenue is to have more trips/ routes – but already it is overloaded passengers travel on roof –risking their lives. For safety this practice must be stopped for all reasons.
To generate funds of its own best is to issue tax free bonds.
Freight hiked on food grain, pulses, cement, coal and steel etc shall increase inflation in general.
Fast trains with 200 kmph are welcome but infrastructure for the same is mostly lacking at present. Already many accidents are taking place now. Before starting it ensure its safety run on technical grounds.
Booking in advance with 120 days have no practical benefit –earlier 90 days was tried and that failed too. 60 days is enough.
5 minutes unreserved tickets are a dream only. At present even to buy a platform ticket require 30 minutes. No separate counters for it are there. Even Senior citizens have to queue up here. (It is sold with unreserved tickets window. At present Platform tickets are valid for 2 hours. I suggest online platform tickets facility like e ticketing with a validity of 24 hours.
It is rightly proposed lower berths for all Senior Citizens but practically all senior citizens cannot get lower birth as per present software booking system. It is suggested to change software in such a way that when quota of all tickets is booked –filled completely, automatically senior citizens berth is changed to lower berth if at first instance it is not so.
Also improve amenities: sometimes mice in the compartment is seen, the food is horrible. The trains lack punctuality. No passenger should be allowed to travel in reserved compartments without a valid ticket. Passengers travelling on the roof of compartments must be penalized too. The toilets must be cleaned regularly; water in wash basin and liquid soap must be always available. The amount of luggage that can be carried by a person in reserved compartments needs to be specified. There must be printed menu cards listing the price of food in order to avoid over-charging. The Indian Railways will also be better off if it introduces its own taxi service to ferry passengers to destinations.
M. Com., LL.B., FCA, FCMA, FCS
B-49, Gulmohar Park,
Ex- Member-AMIMA, AMIBM, ACEA (London), MIIA (USA).
New Delhi-110 049