Right step by railways to withdraw flexi-fare system
The recent move by Hon’ble Ministry of Railways to withdraw flexi-fare system and Tatkal charges being reduced to 1.3 times (from 1.5) for all 35 Humsafar Express trains running across Indian Railway network is welcome. It is also welcome to know that augmentation of sleeper classes to Humsafar Express which otherwise consisted of only AC 3 Tier coaches. The move thus is aimed at making available ticket fares at normal rates and provide a fair opportunity to travel with a reserved accommodation in both sleeper and AC classes.
Further the system of Flexi-fare in premium trains needs an immediate overhaul due to the prevailing high price factor. The withdrawal of this system now across all the other categories of premium trains will help ensure that a person gets a fair opportunity to travel without paying exorbitant fares levied otherwise. Such a fare/ticketing scheme do not satisfy the exact demand-supply criteria expected under rail travel otherwise diligently followed by the Airline industry.
While one appreciates the level of comfort offered through premium trains with flexi fare system, the Railway Board is further suggested to formulate innovative solutions to garner revenue otherwise gained through such a complex fare calculation method. As also with the sleeper coaches now added to Humsafar Express category, an effort should be made to increase its popularity by adding new routes and introducing more trains (under this category) across the railway network.
Picking from the perils of downpour
Mumbai saw its wettest 2019 and there appears to be no respite from inclement weather as rain continues to cause havoc. With 15 days more left we hope to see record rains beating the 1954s tally of monsoon rains. Such situation has become normal affair in Mumbai. Mumbai monsoon rains brought more miseries and the number of potholes increased in large numbers. Travelling through the wet road brought nightmarish experience and BMC is to be blamed for this situation. After, all the water logging and water related diseases, the corporation should be able to work out a plan and that will see that these problems did not recur during the next monsoon season. With better planning we can bring out a change in the functioning of the BMC. Picking from the perils of the monsoon will be our first priority.
Right step in the right direction
Aarey Colony can significantly restructure the growth of suburbs over the next couple of years. The Metro project established in this land is one such measure. Eating into the green cover will be disastrous. The Government won’t permit sacrificing the vital green lung for another cement jungle. It is time to have private-public participation in this initiative and make sure there is no encroachment and the green cover in the lush green lung of Aarey Colony into a business hub should not materialize even as a distant possibility. But using the government land for developmental purposes cannot be prevented as CM bats for Metro and it is a right step in the right direction.
Jayanthy S. Maniam
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)