Saturday, 21 June 2014

Rail Fare Hike !! Was It Necessary ?? Is d Narendra Modi Govt wrong in doing it ? N y did BJP oppose it when in opposition ?

Rail Fare Hike - My Take On Was it Necessary ??
Was The Narendra Modi government wrong in doing it ?? N wat's d difference wen BJP opposed Rail-Fare hike wen it was in opposition n is BJP at fault now by increasing wen it is in power ??
Lets start with sum statistics first !!
As we know , the railways comprises of Passenger and Freight [Goods] sector
It has been the usual trend that Passenger Sector is always at loss n freight sector is at profit !! ANd the profits of freight sector do not match up with the losses of Passenger Sector thus always resulting in an overall net loss for Railways !!!
In 2001 , the loss in passenger sector was 4,500 crores
In 2004 , wen UPA govt's tenure started n Lalu took over as Railways minister, the loss in passenger sector was 8,000 crores !!
In such circumstances , Lalu started several loss making concepts like Garib Rath trains , Sampark Kranti trains etc .
Thus , by the end of Lalu's tenure in May 2009 , wen UPA 1 ended n UPA 2 took over , the loss in passenger sector had increased to rupees 13,000 crores , a rise of rupees 5,000 crores during Lalu's regime !!
Then came , Mamta Banerjee's 3 years from 2009-2012 !! She was d worst railway minister n during her tenure , d loss in passenger sector rose to around rupees 20,000-22,000 crore rupees !!
And then finally came 2 years of congress under pawan bansal n mallikarjun kharge , during which the loss in passenger sector rose to a whopping rupees 25-000 to 26-000 crore rupees !!!
The profit in freight sector during this was rupees 18,000 crores !! Thus , resulting in a net loss of rupees 8,000 crores to Indian railways !!
To understand y these losses r happening , one needs to understand the policies with which Railways have been run by the country by successive congress governments - which have resulted in miserable state of railways today !!
One important feature of UPA tenure was that passenger fares were increased only once in ten years by UPA govt !! All to fool people that it's a pro-people government !! Because during the same time , the rates for freight were increased almost EVERY YEAR !!!
Now , the point is that increase in rates of freight also effects the common man !! Infact , continous increase in freight rates effects the common man more adversely than a balanced increased of both passenger n freight rates !!!
For example , coal is carried by freight trains , increase in freight rates results in increase of coal transportation charges resulting in costlier electricity !! SImilarly prices of foodgrains increase wen there is a continous increase in freight rates n so on !!
Thus ,the continous increase in freight prices while not increasing passenger fares was far more disastrous by UPA govt than wat wud a balance increase in both freight n passenger fares wud have been !!
Now consider the state of railway projects !!
Just like many infrastructure projects , many railway projects suffer from improper planning n execution , more increasingly under UPA rule !! Improper planning leads to huge delays n increase in project costs !! Also , several railway projects have are purposely held up by Environment ministry in d name of environment and also by a slow, lazy n indifferent bureaucracy !! There r several examples of delayed projects !! This causes a huge drain on the railways resources n results in improper services by railways !!
Now consider ,the condition of railway staffs !! During Hampi express accident in 2012 , there was an article that the required no. of motormen [train drivers] in d country was 82,000 at dat time , but the no. of motormen was only 60,000 at dat time , a whopping shortage of 22,000 ! Also , out of these 60,000 , 5,000 were medically unfit at that time !! so , in effect , 60,000 motormen were working overtime to do the work of 82,000 motormen !! Overtime results in lack of sleep n a tired body !! When even driving a car without proper sleep can be dangerous , one can imagine how many lives r put at risk by allowing underslept motormen to drive trains !!
Similarly , there is a huge shortage of guards , engineers , cleaning workers n all other staff !! The number of trains were increased every year , but the issue of staff shortage was never properly addressed by the UPA govt !!
Now , its not that not recruiting the required staff saves the railways some money , rather , d existing staff have to be paid overtime which means that no money is saved !!
On the contrary , this staff shortage results in a huge compromise in the services of railways !! It compromises passenger safety !! Also , t results in more time in delivery of goods by freight , causing loss of railways' business to Road Transport Companies ! Also , in a country facing unemployment , such non-recruitment of staff is criminal !!
These policies of total mismanagement of railways continued under ten years of UPA govt !! It was against this background , that upa increased the fares in 2012 !! After 8 years of it's rule , it had not improved the services of railways , had not addressed staff shortage , had not addressed maintenance issues , or even that of cleanliness !! But just increased fares !! And This was the very thing that BJP opposed at that time !! Because just increasing fares without increasing issues is not done !!
And now , when BJP has come in power , it has inherited railways in such a terrible state !! A net loss of 8,000 crores per year means a loss of around rupees 22 crores per day !! Which is unsustainable if the railways has to redeem itself n recover from this mess !! Similar is the state of many public companies which has drained the country of its treasury !!
So to make the railways n ultimately the Country's finances healthy again , it was inevitable that Railway Fares be hiked !! But one thing that we can be assured of is , that there wud be sum improvement in services as well as several held up railway projects have been cleared by the new Government !!
" Acche Din " will cum , but it takes time to take the country out of such mess ! Modi had never promised that they wud cum immediately ! we wud have to wait atleast for a few months for it !! As Modi govt has said , 2 years recovery from UPA mess n then 3 years of growth !!!


  1. 1. If at all what you have stated is true then why is the Government not educating the people about it? Why is this unexplained silence on the government's part? NaMo does'nt need to be told the essence of communication.

    2. Why pinch the common man with such a steep hike (Raliway Season Pass prices have been doubled) when assembly elections just round the corner? This is absoulutely suicidal.

    3. Why start the recovery process with Railways, something which affects everyone? Rather, there are many areas from where revenue can be generated apart from railways. The Government, at least for now, should have avoided touching upon such a sensitive issue.

    Not that I don't have faith in NaMo. Just like the millions other, I am his staunch supporter. But his recent approach of not communicating with his supporters and the people in general, is proving detrimental to the cause.

    Modi must not stop communicating with people.The argument that "Let his work do the talking..." doesn't hold in the current scenario.

    A very apt tweet:

    We question @NarendraModi or his Govt for clarity, not to cast aspersions on his ability or intentions. Its our duty.— पियूष कुलश्रेष्ठ (@ThinkersPad) June 21, 2014

  2. Anyway, AFAIK railway freights runs in profits for years(between 5% to 15%). What ails is passenger. It has been running under losses because of special offers and things. Old fare: class above 3AC, per km cost is whooping Rs. 1/KM to Rs. 2.4/KM. Rail is mass transportation, running cost would be well below that amount. Even AC bus run at Rs. 2 to Rs. 3/KM. AC car run at less than Rs. 3/KM. So if Railway has to hit these rates, what's the point of having mass commutation? Blatantly hiking price may temporarily fix accounting problem, but are you sure that it is going to solve railway's problem?

    People who can't afford AC Travel are the poorest strata, and people who are fine by the hike are the ones who take Flights.

  3. @anonymous !! I agree with ur point that Mumbai's fare hike is too harsh n unrequired now !! Govt cud have waited till assemble elections atleast before doing it as Mumbai suburban railway does not make a loss but a profit of 400 crores annually !! Also , I agree that BJP spokies or govt spokies shud be aggressive rather than defensive on any issue !!!