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….

Good news for iPhone enthusiasts in India

Looks like Vodafone is going to get the iPhone to India soon. Check out this article on Vodafone website. Even Airtel has announced it. You can check it out here.

I had already registered for it 🙂 . I really can’t wait anymore to get my hands on it 🙂

Coming to the tariff plans, the information from the Vodafone customer care is that it would come with a monthly tariff of Rs. 199, Rs. 499 and Rs. 699 depending on the internet usage and downloads, etc. I even heard from people saying that the existing Vodafone customers can use the existing sim card only but of course we can only make calls and send sms 😀 . Whatever it is looks like we are going to have iPhone pretty soon.

Local search in India

Local search engine market is one of the fastest growing markets in India. And it definitely makes sense as we can feel the need for good local information services these days. Call it local search engines, local information services, local directory services or whatever… the end of the day what they tend to offer is information about any kind of local establishments starting from food outlets, companies, movie theatres, hospitals or for that matter any damn information.

And coming to the players in this segment, there are the big players like google and yahoo with their localized versions and then the startups like guruji, asklaila, yulop, justdial, ilaaka, onyomo, City Infoline and then the list just goes on 🙂 ……Now the point is who is going to end up as the winner? Is it that the big giants would eat away these startups or will these startups endup dominating the market? Whatever be the result, one thing is definite…..all of them are working towards a common goal………building a database of directory of information, which is definitely missing in India.

Now coming to all these startups in this segment, each of them has got their own set of unique features catering to a specifc segment. Some differ entirely in the way they operate. For instance, guruji is basically crawler based whereas justdial has got human gathered data and a few others having user generated data. Some cater specifically to a particular segment like food (like burrp), some cover any establishment in general. Some of them like jusdial even have a facility to call them up to find the details of any establishment, some providing the feature of SMS services and a few of them even have mobile versions of their sites ( for instance) . Some just have a directory listing of the businesses and others provide a search feature. Ofcourse, there are a lot of common stuff as well in all of them.

One question that comes to my mind at this point is whether India really has such a big market size to accomodate all these new statups? And the answer I feel is definitely yes 🙂 . There is so much information out there that needs to be brought online and on top of it its all unorganized 🙁 . I sincerely hope that one day would come when users will definitely move from the existing giants like google to some of these local search engines to search for local info. Till then lets just wait and watch who’s going to make it to the top 😀

Call to IIT Delhi alumni

Prof. H.M.Gupta of Electrical Department, IIT Delhi is in the process of forming a society for Information & Communication Technology on the lines of IEEE. He is looking for students who had previously worked with him in IITD. So, people who had some interaction previously with Prof. H.M.Gupta and would be interested to join the group, please do so by subscribing to the google group created for this purpose. You can find the subscribe box at the bottom of the sidebar of my main page on the right hand side. Basically Prof. H.M.Gupta is looking for more industry interaction and the group would include the current students of IITD, alumni, other senior members, etc.

More details can be obtained by subscribing to the group.

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