Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Railway Dream!

The Indian Railways has come a long way! From being content of being referred to by every Quiz Master , as the largest employer in the world, today it stands at the brink of occupying the slot as the No: 1 Railway company in the world.
The inimitable Lalu Prasad Yadav, Minister for Railways, has proven to be (of all things!) a fine businessman. He quips in his rather non-chalant style, hitting out at the NDA Government for not even being able to pay the Rs 2473 Crores dividend, while in his term the same company has made a whopping surplus of more that Rs 1,00,000 Crores. He proudly declares, "We are not dependent on the Finance Ministry or the Government for any money! We have our own resources."
A truly commendable job one must admit. Hats off to Lalu and whoever else is behind this successful parade. The increased realisation of revenues through increased movement of goods traffic, introduction of easier ticketing services, introduction of "Rail Neer" and many other similar innovative initiatives has really paid off!
But we still have a long way to go! I recall the agony, that I have had to go through every time a ticketless traveller bullies his way through to my seat. In my opinion , Lalu will have to address this one very important setback, that can be a big bottleneck,in the furthur growth of the railways- Ticketless travelling.
I have personally encountered hordes and hordes of ticketless travellers, making their way to their daily routine, (to office mainly) using the Indian Railways free-of-cost! The Mumbai Suburban Rail System, Surat- Mumbai Lines, Bhopal-Itarsi Lines are some of the places where ticketless travelling is a daily routine.
If at all the Railways needs to continually grow in this fashion, the capitalistic approach adopted sounds very useful. But then one needs to balance that off against the socialistic temptation to remain slack against ticketless travellers , just to enable the poor man who cannot afford a ticket!
For many a time, socialism favours the meek and the weak, and gives an incentive for everybody to become weaker to derive its benefits!

4 comments:

vijayan said...

Lalu no doubt has got a Midas touch. But he has been now continously benefitted by the economic boom which has mainly added to the increased freight movement as well as passenger traffic.
No doubt the Railways would want to control ticketless travel. But where is the manpower to effect the same.I don`t think Railways is adopting any socialistic approach
in the matter of ticketless travel.

Sita said...

Yes..in this budget 2008,Lalu has assured reduced rail fares for all passengers. He has also promised to improve the conditions of our Railways Stations, especially the toilets. He was so happy with himself for all that he had done for Railways that he rightfully said "Chak De Railways"

The bigger concern will be to reduce the early morning and evening rushes in the local trains of mumbai and other metropolises. People get strangled and suffoctaed in those trains, with no place to even stand. If something can be done to improve the conditions of local trains, it will definitely come as a boon to the thousands of commuters for whom going on the local trains is a nightmare.

Ganesh Nayak Ullal said...

I dont agree that mumbai local have lot of ticketless travellers. I have generally found that checking is very frequent and severe in mumbai local that generally people avoid ticketless travelling. Say only 0.5% people travel ticketless, with 30 lakh journeys a day, that amounts to 15000 ticketless journeys. Surely one is likely to bounce into ticketless traveller now and then. Probably the cost of catching / preventing these people itself might be costlier than the extra revenue earned.

I myself have travelled ticketless lot of times. If everyone has to travel to his/her hometown during diwali how do you expect IR to cater to all the demand. Hence people buy W/L tickets and then pay additional 50% fare to make the journey (actually the passenger has to pay more than 50%..need not mention why). So IR gets 1.5 times the fare from people who do not even get a berth to sleep.

Hari said...

Indian Railways there is lot to expressed. It is long journey till today .On Saturday 16th of April, 1853 a 21-mile long railway line,the first in India, between Bombay's Victoria Terminus and Thana was opened. The Great Indian Peninsular (GIP) and the Bombay Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) of 1860. And to other part of India Every year we wait for Railway Budget to knew new Railway connections New Trains .now no doubt Mr.Lalu Prasad Yadav, Minister for Railways and Railway board done fantastic job.His simple innovative ideas which is acknowledged business schools around the world. Now Ticketless travelling mainly by daily commuters I feel may less percentage. Earlier we have to buy ticket and enter the railway station .Now you can buy ticket in the railway station it self. By bring down the fare for short distance you can minimize "free-of-cost". No doubt Policing not the solution in the vast net work. The article and comments are interesting to go through.