Indian Railways: Testing Patience-on-Wheels!

Dear railway minister of the big mouthed ruling government!

Another couple of months remain before you table the much anticipated Railway budget. It is heartening to see the way railway ministers holds that lengthy piece of paper perched in his hand every fiscal year calling it the railway budget, which also happens to be the most sought-after announcement by the government after union budget. Apparently, the budget promises ample of goodies in store for Aam Aadmi. Alas! The ground reality ceases to improve. Sanitation facilities, proper check on extra charge levied on eatables, banning unhygienic & poorly cooked eatables at the platform premises, a seamless network connectivity & timely running trains are some of the basic prerogatives  that yet remain far from reality. When you aim for stars, a reality check is highly recommended. Which means that the needful must be accomplished instead of banking on false promises. In this column, I highlight another pressing concern that talks about the plight of our railway system, one thing that has left me disappointed lately.
A couple of years from now, the mere thought of booking an online tatkal ticket would send a chill down my spine. No matter how fast the connection was, if you managed to book a reserved berth for yourself, you got to be the special one.
The new Indian Railway website has been revamped and accessing it has become a lot easier now. Unfortunately, the not-so-punctual trains that are never on time, have only added to our misery. Thanks to all the ruling governments who have failed time & again to uplift the standard of the railway. All their endeavours have been tarnished over the time & a much hasn’t been done to revamp the outlook of the Indian Railways.
During the month of Dec & Jan, the fact that fog affects most of the public transport is agreeable. But now, since the pink season has already packed its bag & there isn’t much of fog either I don’t understand the reason behind late running trains. Believe me, when I say that some of them are late by almost a day.
Here’s my story! I had to rush back to my home town to complete the passport verification & luckily I found a long weekend to plan my journey, thanks to our beloved Republic Day. But little did I know that my happiness was short-lived as the entire two days of my weekend were wasted by the lousy train Swatantrata Sainani Exp that runs from Delhi to Darbhanga. The train is preferable above other because it allows me to board it even after the office hours on Friday. By the time the train left Delhi it was already 9 hours late & it took me 17 extra hours to reach home alive, apparently. You see, people don’t die because of the delayed journey, if they did the government must have looked into making some serious amendment.
The extended delay left me distressed to the core.  We have become so tolerant when it comes to railways and have learnt to live with such anomalies. Then there are times when things cross the line and leave us red-faced.
On the eve of Republic day, I would sincerely have our beloved railway minister introspect things. In my opinion, if you want to make a noticeable move, please begin with the common & severe issues at hand. Starting with something that’s connected to people from different walks of life is certainly going to make an impact. In that category, Indian railways towers above the rest.
I hope at least somebody is listening.

Leave a Reply