Citizens' Issues
Railway Budget's 110 commitments fulfilled: Suresh Prabhu
Kolkata : Harping on the railways' commitment towards better passenger services, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said that 110 Railway Budget commitments have been fulfilled by the ministry.
 
Prabhu, who flagged off several new trains from the Howrah station, also said the much delayed East-West Metro Railway project would be completed in the next two and a half years.
 
"As a part of offering better customer service, we have been working on a few initiatives. There were many initiatives taken and I am very happy to say that at least 110 of Budget commitments have been fulfilled," Prabhu told the media persons.
 
The minister said one of the areas where the railways made progress was ticketing by improving the website of the IRCTC for online bookings, including for daily and monthly tickets.
 
He also also stressed on the cleanliness drive in the trains and added that mechanised laundries have helped immensely.
 
"With collaboration, we can make railways more clean. We have also started mechanised laundries wherever possible. It has helped us immensely in the cleaning process. And our idea is to have more of such laundries," the minister said.
 
"We have also started on-board cleanliness services. If you feel your place is unclean, you have to send us a SMS and the railway staff will be there in sometime to clean it up," he added.
 
Prabhu also said new coaches are being brought in to replace the old ones and it would change the travelling experience.
 
"Other issues that people face are about the train's interiors. It has not undergone change for some time. The new coaches that have come are really far superior to the ones we have. You will feel like air travel while travelling in a train," he said.
 
"I know, it is a small beginning as there are thousands of coaches and changing all of them would need some time and money," the minister said.
 
"If someone wants to have rasogolla in Delhi, it will be delivered to him from the counter. Customers have been, therefore, given a choice about the type of food they want," he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

1 year ago

Two things that no one cares for. Safety and over-crowding. The latter is also a safety matter. Actually a hazard.

AND, most trains are as dirty as ever. Urchins do the job better. And should be encouraged. They used to use rags/shirts. I used to buy them brooms and dust pans; when I travelled regularly. Private-Private Partnership. Works beautifully on Public utilities.

Maybe the restrictions on food, eating, chopping, in locals, may help. It's done on the Delhi Metro. No food stalls on platforms either. Eat before entering. One can avoid food for an hour. And not sit in doorways, cutting veggies for dinner.

A week back, in a outstation train, the seats were infested with cockroaches. There were posters; urging to keep them out. Unfortunately, the insects cannot read English.

Bapoo M Malcolm

Pradeep

1 year ago

The recent hike i.e doubling of cancellation for all class including sleeper class (Form Rs.60.00 to Rs.120.00 ) had dealt a severe blow especially with the common man. The reason as per railways is Touts/agents misuse the facility. But, how can Railways penalise the common man for this ? There should be other ways to deal with Touts. I strongly request Indian Railways to restore old cancellation rates for Second and Sleeper class

Review of ‘The Rebel: A Biography of Ram Jethmalani'
Doctor-friend pens the story of India, not just of Jethmalani
 
“The story of Ram is the story of India.” Susan Adelman, thus, pens not only a biography of Ram Jethmalani, but that of India, in her book aptly titled The Rebel. Susan is a medical doctor by profession, a close friend of the Jethmalanis, and is married to a lawyer: just the right profile for authoring Ram’s life. She very admiringly tells us of his lineage, but soon muddles up the big with the small, the grand with the ordinary. The 1970s do not require any genius of authorship to make an interesting read. Here, in the middle of the excesses wrought on fundamental freedoms, Ram’s initiation into politics, an uninspiring anecdote of toilet humour is thrust upon the reader. One is advised to skip such faux pas, the boring bits about Ram’s changing addresses, contrived details of having to manage two wives, etc, as the doctor eventually learns and improves. 
 
The story evolves into a juggernaut of cases of villains, godmen, politicians, scamsters, cabbages and kings. They were also advocates who made fortunes due to our pre-liberalisation anti-smuggling laws; and why not? Here’s a lovely pearl of wisdom straight from the horse’s mouth: “When I see a man come into my office with his pockets bulging with smuggling money, I consider it my duty to relieve him of his wealth.” Needless to add, Haji Mastan, Jogi, D-Gang, the who’s who of crime world, all make guest appearances. We are told that 90% of Ram’s cases are pro bono. He, obviously, makes a killing defending the remaining 10%, remorselessly. And why shouldn’t his genius be rewarded? But how would you judge a man who has a certain amount of sympathy for a man accused of rape?
 
In chapter 11, on being quizzed about his diligence in following the case of an engineer charged with statutory rape, Ram’s response was: “Basically the man is a lover. I can’t let him down.” And that’s not all. On being told that the man is a charged with rape, his answer was “Yes… But that is the culmination of love.” Be not too harsh, for he espoused many causes, including that of minorities and women; he is credited with piloting the Women’s Reservation Bill in parliament. His zeal in the opening of the National Law College in Bengaluru, and imparting knowledge to budding lawyers serve as pacifying antidotes after that glaring confession. 
 
The foreword says that the book is recommended to law students. The description of Ram’s cases is fleeting and there are no insights that a student of law can look forward to. However, for an entire generation, born in more prosperous times and unaware of life before that watershed year of 1991, it’s a must read. Along the way, readers may come across trite, yet useful, tips, such as inspecting the scene of crime, holding papers during cross-examination and appearing to consult them, making independent investigations, etc. Ram’s personal trials and tribulations are humanely captured in chapter 30, so much so that it draws a tear. The loss of a child, and the favourite that Rani was, makes the heart ache. 
 
We also learn how India appears to be coming a full circle with raging debates on judicial accountability, government censorship, disappearing reports and the chilling matter of additional district magistrate Vs Shivakant Shukla: the Indira Gandhi years. One figure emerges tall and towering from those times; it is that of Justice HR Khanna. Here’s an extract from the New York Times editorial that lauded Justice Khanna on 30 April 1976: ”If India ever finds its way back to the freedom and democracy that were proud hallmarks of its first eighteen years as an independent nation, someone will surely erect a monument to Justice HR Khanna of the Supreme Court. 
 
It was Justice Khanna who spoke out fearlessly and eloquently for freedom this week in dissenting from the Court’s decision upholding the right of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Government to imprison political opponents at will and without court hearing… The submission of an independent judiciary to absolutist government is virtually the last step in the destruction of a democratic society; and the Indian Supreme Court’s decision appears close to utter surrender.”
 
The book is certainly readable and deserves multiple star rating. Sadly, the book starts with sectarian violence in India and ends with one. Let us hope this is not her destiny.

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