Yet another rail derailment and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu was talking about railway fare hike in the coming budget a few days back. Kurla-Ambernath local which derailed luckily did not have casualties but thousands of commuters die every year on tracks as safety aspect is being neglected by the authorities for some reason or the other.
Commuters don’t mind paying a little extra but basic facilities like proper clean toilets and trains apart from safe travel should be provided to them. But government is more bothered about providing free wi-fi or digitization which serves no purpose when safe travel is compromised. Time for Indian railways to be semi-privatized where the ownership remains with the government but other aspects like maintenance, day to day administration etc is handed over to corporates for better service and accountability!
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)