Indian Railways on money making tracks

The initial title of this post was Garib Rath experience and just thought of writing about my first experience in garib rath train from bangalore (yeshwantpur station) to hyderabad (secunderabad station). I found many good points in it and there were some things that I didn’t like. But yesterday night when I was coming back from hyderabad to bangalore by kachiguda-bangalore express, I was surprised to see a major change in the 3rd A.C. compartments which made me to change the title of this post and the content as well.

After getting into the train, I had put my luggage and was just waiting for the train to start. I didn’t give much attention to any new changes in the bogie. Just as the train started, instead of the normal 6 people who sit in the six side coupe, an additional person has come…a total of 7 were supposed to sit. I was surprised as to how come 7 would be sitting there because if someone had an RAC ticket, that would be for the side berth. Then when I turned towards the side berths, I could not believe my eyes……instead of the normal side upper and side lower, they had introduced an additional side middle 😯 . A side middle 😀 in a normal express train!!!!! That’s something we would definitely not want to have. It makes sense to have that in Garib Rath as its entire concept is different. But trying to increase the seating capacity in a normal express train by introducting additional berths is definitely not acceptable.

Actually, when I saw this kind of seating arrangement in Garib Rath, I really appreciated the innovative thinking of railways. They were trying to provide a full A.C. train and to recover the costs, had to increase the seating capactiy. Makes perfect sense in this scenario. But there should be a limit to the greed. Now trying to follow the same thing in normal trains is definitely not good. Even the T.C. in the train was saying that these people are making the A.C. compartments like general compartments now.

Now this reminds me of an artice that I had read long back about the reasons how Laloo could take indian railways to make profits (or rather just created an illusion of making profits 😀 )…..just to summarize two main points…. one was the increase of tatkal quota and issuing tatkal quota tickets from 5 days before the journey (now this is like selling tickets in black publicly)…..second one was related to the freight….the goods wagons were being overloaded much above the capacity that they could actually hold….this directly increases the profits of railways but what about the wear & tear of wagons and the tracks, the safety of the trains……all this just to show some profits in the short-term??? I could not find the original article where I had read about this but a quick google search led me to this article which also talks about the same facts.

And now even the passenger trains are not being left out……berths being increased in the existing compartments!!!! I really can’t understand where are these people heading to…. now this is what I say commercialisation….

7 Replies to “Indian Railways on money making tracks”

  1. Hi. I was so shocked myself to see this middle tier when i was travelling from Bangalore to Hyd! Already our trains are overcrowded, and now an additional berth on the side and an additional person to sit alongwith the 6 already sitting!! Wwhat kind of Laloo Anarchy is this? Why haven’t the fares reduced if they have made our journey so uncomfortable. I agree with you that when i thought it was introduced for gareeb rath only, i appreciated Laloo for taking such an initiative. But now he has gone far beyond the limits of greed!!
    It was so tough for me to fit in that top side berth. i was travelling with fellow male colleagues, and since none of them could fit on that, i was made to go up on that horrible seat. my face just touched the roof in that, and i could not turn from one position whole night! Even the other seats have become so uncomfortable that none of my colleagues could even fit in the seats! We used to travel by train over bus because of its comfort. But now we will reverse the same because bus comfort is anyday better than this sick claustrophobic experience!! Infact we cancelled our return trip tickets and came back in bus!
    Is no one else bothered. Why is it being continued without any opposition by the media or anyone? Their clear strategy is to do it slowly so that not everyone raises objection at one go and they can easily snub the small level of criticism like this.
    Please do something media people. We are depending on you to raise this issue…

  2. Yes Priyanka you are absolutely right….. looks like they are implementing it slowly in a phased manner so that there won’t be much criticism and the most surpirsing thing is that no one seems to be bothered about it….

  3. Cannot agree with you more! There seems to be no limit to the greed of Laloo unless it is the bright idea of some bureaucrat who anyways goes by plane on taxpayers money! IF there is so much demand, why cant the railways have more bogies/compartments? Can you imagine travelling 36 hours cross country in such conditions – as it is with luggage and full passengers, there is no room to breathe! I also noticed that the emergency window was jammed by this middle berth thing! God Help US!
    i suggest Laloo and Velu – the great railway duo travel on these berths from Trivandrum to Guwahati and set an example for the rest of us!
    Surprising, no media has covered it – anyway all journos fly dont they?

  4. Exactly….if there is so much of demand why can’t they increase the number of coaches….that would in turn increase the profits of Indian Railways. But these people want to earn more without any additional costs. What a greed!!!
    And you indeed brought out a very good point Jayaram…….. with this new side middle berth, the emergency window would be of no or little use now.

  5. I too had bad experience of travelling by side upper where it was very near to roof and during winter it is very cold. The decision took by Laloo was very bad and putting the passengers into great difficulty. Incase they wanted to do this then they have to re-modify the compartment with more height and then do this rather than doing modification in the existing carriages. Media should come forward in projecting this public inconveniences and some one should go to human rights commission or consumer redressel forum and take steps for withdrawal of this side middle concept.

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