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Railway fare hike is justified

People should not make a huge hue and cry over increasing railway fares and should look at the brighter side of it. During April-December (2013-14), the railways incurred a loss of Rs 4,000 crore due to low passenger fares and an additional loss of Rs 883 crore in the freight segment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken this unpopular decision to revive the economy. The Railways was incurring a daily loss of Rs 36 crore after the decision to hike fares was put on hold last month. Passenger fares were subsidized by the freight traffic.

The Narendra Modi government has gone and done what previous governments shied away from: hiking railway passenger and freight rates as per Planning Commission recommendations. He had already warned of a bitter pill for the common man for reviving the economy. The decision was taken just few days before the railway and general budget. The hike is more in first class as compared to the sleeper classes. Thus now first class commuters will switch to second class as it doesn’t make any sense to travel in this class which is overcrowded during peak hours.

However, people should refrain from protesting against such issues and stop damaging public property. The government should take strict action against protestors. Railways have to purchase hardware and spend money on the maintenance of tracks, coaches and upgradation of safety systems.

There is lack of cleanliness on platforms and inside railway coaches which must be addressed. Safai karmacharis should perform their work with sincerity. Railway officers should monitor their work amicably. Fines must be imposed on people who spit on platforms.

I have always mentioned that discipline is very important for a nation to gain prosperity. Coalition partners should not pressurize the government to roll back the fare hike. Gadkariji has come up with a plan of setting up desalination plant in Mumbai for potable water. Recycling of wash water is very useful which can be used for gardening. Abu Dhabi has become environment friendly by adopting this technique. We need money but it should come from the BCCI, Sai Baba trust and rich people from the city. Mumbai residents are very sporting and they will donate generously. Plenty of work needs to be done and we cannot afford to waste time in petty bickering. Having foreign collaboration and our engineers and technicians working together and upgrading their knowledge is the right way for achieving progress.

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