AN OPEN LETTER TO DIDI

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: POLITICS | Tags: , |

Dear Didi,

As expected the Railway budget presented by you was populist in every sense of the term and also there seemed to be no purpose.The fares were not hiked and new trains and new projects were announced.I live in the ‘largest democracy’ and have no complaints with regards to the crass populism shown by our politicians.

But I am appalled by the lack of concern shown by the successive Ministers towards passenger amenities.As someone whose geographical location and fiscal constraints does not facilitate air travel, I can testify the travails that one has to face while travelling by trains.

I shall start with the online reservation system of the irctc.com.As in the case with the printed forms that can only accomodate 6 passengers, the online version also does the same.This justifies all logic. Recently, I got married and I decided to get the tickets online.My parents, my in-laws,my siblings and my friends and relatives were all scattered throughout the train. Arranging food and taking care of all the luggage was a logistics nightmare.

The online reservation system asks for the age of the passenger but even in case of the senior citizen, the berths are a case of lottery.My parents who are both senior citizens have never got the lower berths.I am nearly 6 feet tall and my weight exceeds the one hundred kilo mark.Just imagine my plight when I am given the side upper berth.

The employees of your department do make it a matter of habit to barge even into the airconditioned coaches and do not have the slightest of the sympathy for the ticket paying public.

The sanitary conditions are the worst across the different railway divisions.No efforts are made to provide better conditions for the people.Stations do not have the barest facility like clean drinking water.

Didi, it seemed that you would do better than your predecessor when you brought out the real picture regarding the finances of the railways.But the budget has showed your true colours. You are different only in terms of the shade and not in terms of kind.

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