Indian Railway – Largest but not the Best…

Railway recently changed the tatkal timing from 8am to 10am, this change gives us a sense that railway is trying, but we would look forward to some ‘real’ solutions

Indian Railway network is the largest rail network in the whole world; still it’s not the best. India is the only country where every part of the nation is connected via rail route. Everyday Indian railway serves millions of passengers and with this, it creates millions of unsatisfied passengers as well. The crux to entire problem is that there is no proper management system in place to look after the complaints of the people. Hence authorities never get a genuine feedback.Even if they do receive a feedback, they hardly care!!!

Tatkal scheme was started to make the railway travel more convenient for the passengers. But on the contrary, it has become a nightmare for common man. Travel agents are playing a major role in all this, and we the citizens are no less responsible. We are too lazy to get up in the morning, stand in a queue to book our ticket. So, we end up hiring some agent to do this part, and in return they take advantage of the situation and charge exorbitant fare. The booking counter opens at 10am and by 10:05am all seats get booked.(Railway recently changed the tatkal timing from 8am to 10am, this change gives us a sense that railway is trying, but we would look forward to some ‘real’ solutions) While in reality, hardly any genuine ticket is booked. Agents book tickets in bulk through agent-police-authority nexus thus creating this artificial crisis. They charge a thousand bucks extra for every ticket and in return they guarantee reserved tickets to passengers. This commission is honestly divided into all the stake holders.

I know many people who waited in queue overnight to book tatkal tickets, were the first at the counter, but still couldn’t get the ticket. Most of you, who haven’t experienced it personally may find it funny, but its true. So the question here is what must be done?? This menace can be curbed only if we could discourage or ban agents. Any measure by authority would fall flat unless we stop approaching these middlemen for tickets. People who can’t come personally to book their tickets can book it online. The irctc website has to be upgraded to support heavy traffics as well.

The plight of wait-listed passengers is another area of concern. Passengers with wait-listed ticket have to suffer a lot and even those with confirmed tickets have an unpleasant journey due to overcrowding of coaches. This only helps the ticket checkers, who charge them at their will.  “The railways must check unauthorized entry of passengers in sleeper bogies. We paid Rs 400 extra on each ticket under the ‘Tatkal’ scheme. It is the duty of the railways to ensure safe journey to all the passengers traveling in reserved bogies,” said a passenger. In trains like Rajdhani Express, extra bogies are added to accommodate wait-listed passengers.This concept should be extended to all the long distance trains.

Railway Minister during a  Railway Board meeting said
I am serious about a policy wherein every ticket-holder is guaranteed a confirmed berth. If the waiting list reaches something like 700 over and above the train capacity, we can roll out an identical train on the route and accommodate the waitlisted ones,”. We sincerely hope that such plans see the light of the day at the earliest.

This is the time to think and act. We can’t simply blame the government or the authorities, we ourselves are a part of it. Unless we wake up from our deep slumber, things won’t change. Every single hand that works for this cause, every single mouth that raises its voice, will be a part of large inevitable revolution to follow.
Stop approaching agents, book your tickets yourself. Raise your voice against any injustice around you.
“Be the change that you want to see around…”

Wake India Now!!!

-Mayank Verma

SRM University, Chennai

Its NOW or NEVER!!

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