Do we really need a strict Railway?

Remember how teachers used to control the kids in school ? Good teachers used to hold their attention by teaching in a really interesting and sincere manner. A mediocre or bad teacher simply acted strict. Anything you do gets punishment including asking the right and relevant questions. They instill fear in the hearts of the children and avoid the actual cause of distraction -their bad teaching and reluctance to improve. The railway drive of sending people to prison for crossing the tracks fall in the same league.

What do most people want from railways ? All they want is a) Trains should be on time and b) A good infrastructure including platform, overbridge etc to and from the station. Are we asking for too much ?

Most of us notice the hypocracy of railway in action as displayed on the railway indicator. It displays a train arrival time and when there is no train they quietly change the indicator to show the arrival time of the next train and pretend everything is well.

We Mumbaikars pay obscene amount just to travel to and fro but do we get proper service for that ? How many times do we actually reach some place on time ?

The current drive is a ploy to divert commuter's attention from real issues to sensationalism. Granted people die while crossing track. Granted crossing tracks is risky. People know this and they still cross tracks. Why? One reason is lack of proper planning in making over bridges.

Take Parel station for instance. There is a single narrow over bridge connecting parel with elphinstone and the outside world. It is always crowded. There is a long queue to use it. Even before a train load of people finish using it, the next lot is ready because there is not enough space to move fast. The station can become so crowded that even a minor push can throw a person on the tracks. Do the railway ever notice that ? Does it not make more sense to add one more over bridge or widen the existing one instead of harassing the commuters.

Those in government jobs are a blessed lot. They have no recession or job accountability that other normal mortals face daily. ,Most Mumbaikars find time to be the most precious commodity. This is because a minute here and there can make a difference between full day salary or half day pay cut. A minute late can mean lost client or lost order or a change in attitude of a boss already looking for whose job to cut.

People know they can get injured or die by crossing tracks but they still do mostly to save their jobs. They don't enjoy breaking the law most of the time. Nobody enjoys being hazzled by the police or the TC. Everybody knows what species they are.

The government allots obscene amount to railway for development. Do our stations reflect even a decent percentage of the amount given by the government year after year ?

Why is railways ignoring the infrastructure issue ? How will sending a law abiding citizen to jail solve the real issues facing the railway ? How many more such cosmetic PR campaigns before they decide to attack the root cause ? What is preventing them from acknowledging or resolving fundamental issues once and for all ?

The people do not need strictness drives which only bleeds their hard earned money and productivity. If railway is really serious, just empower the people to enforce accountability and transparency. Give us legal civil and criminal remedy against corrupt and incompetent officials - the people will manage the rest.

- Kumar Dawada


navin said...

Before I say anything, I'll say Local trains are a pain in the arse. I would definitely want to avoid using them but here are a few points

Local trains are the fastest means of transport at least during the rush hour
People follow rules for one of two reasons, either they respect the rules or they are afraid of the punishment associated with breaking them. When I look around, I find we belong to the second category in such a case, a fear needs to be instilled.

Anonymous said...

Why dont you send a feed back to CR for the parel foot over bridge ?