Of all the points in the railway budget the only one which came out loud and clear was the one about the hike in prices. A lot of people came out on media to express their ‘concerns’ over the burden which the common man will now have to bear. In all the racket many other points which are to be benefits to the same common man were given a lower stand or were ignored.
The minister proposed the creation of a development corporation which is to rebuild and maintain railway station like airports. Everyone talked about the burden but no one came out to say that the common man will now get to enjoy a neat and clean airport like environment (assuming that the corporation will work up to expectations). The budget also promises escalators in major stations. The advantage of that is much more than can be imagined.
Any person who has traveled sitting, with his nose covered cursing his luck, near the toilets would be rather overjoyed that they are finally doing away with open discharge toilets.
One lakh employees will be hired in the railways. The budget also speaks about regional cuisine being made available. This means that there will employment opportunities in the catering department, also, for people who can cook regional specialties. A person who has taste for food (how many of us don’t?) will now enjoy long distance train journeys!
The minister also stressed on safety which is one of the main concerns of passengers specially woman passengers.
The noise created over price hike puts these and other plus points in shadow. The present minister claims to be bringing the railways out of the ICU while the ex minister claims that it was it was running on surplus in his term. How a surplus making organization ended up in the ICU needs to be looked into before making conclusions. Only an investigation or a detailed audit can justify the minister’s claim and the price hike.
Price hike is the big negative which got headlined on all newspapers. However the positives never go unnoticed. Someone or the other is always there to appreciate something for its positives. In this case that someone is a small unheard of novelist who hopes that these and other good points will be brought to the best effect. He also hopes that in some future railway budget the then minister would propose that literature by regional authors would be promoted through railway book stalls!!
-Ashok Sri krishna