Railways need surgery prior than an excellent budget

A passenger who traveled overnight by a sleeper class got down in the morning with a torn bag thanks to a rat’s mischief. It’s not safe in our railways, recently we had an accident of Rajdhani Express which claimed about a dozen lives. For getting over all these we need a some kind of surgery.

Some joint effort of the Sam Pitroda Modernisation committee and Anil kadkokar committee had estimated a overwhelming sum of 7 lakh crore rupees needed in order to modernise the Indian Railways. But the question is if the modernisation is the only solution to the persisting problems. What if the current workforce is the same, even if we bring the modernisation, nothing is going to change.! Railways need a grass root level surgery more than an excellent budget.

The number of zones were increased from 5 to 16 subsequently increasing the work force to 14 lac. What are causing the accidents are not old rails but the attitude of the 14 lac strong workforce. They believe that the railways are meant for them not the other way round. Being such a large workforce they also take about 50% of revenue as their wages.

Needless to say that the number of workforce is directly proportional to the amount of corruption. And it’s the well known fact that the corruption has gripped the railways too.

Passangers are just tolerating and forcibly using the services. All this points to monopolistic abuse. Why did we abolish monopoly in the airlines,telecom etc. sectors? Only because it makes the sector more competitive and efficient. Why should the railways be the only surviving monopoly in our country?
Turkeys hate Christmas, and bureaucrats abhor reforms. But nation demands a vital surgery.

  • Reduce the number of zones to 5 and convert them into corporations.
  • Offer some attractive voluntary retirement plan in order to dwindle the workforce as that much are not needed in this automated world of computers, keep the talented and experienced ones.
  • Don’t make quarters as none of the officials are pleased to live there. Instead give them on lease to increase a fraction of revenue.
  • Publish the names of corrupt officers on the websites. Name and Shame them. One step to diminish the corruption.
  • Go for FDI or domestic investement.
  • Fix the responsibility for the individuals.

After all the listed transformations the railways will turn around forever.