Fare hike will be accepted, provided service is also improved. Indian railway has a long way to go to become a modern, efficient railway system. It should not be looked simply as a medium to transport people packed like sardines, it should be looked into a mode of transport that provides quality transport and service.
It is important to note that our politicians have been running railways as their personal fiefdom and as part of their vote catching politics. A lot has been said about why fare should not be increased for the sake of poor. Has anyone looked into the possibility that even poor may want a safe and secure travel in a train that runs on time? A train that is clean and serves quality food?
A lot needs to be done to deliver good quality food, decent standard of hygiene and cleanliness, high level of safety and security all need a lot of improvement. It is difficult to imagine that in premier superfast trains like Duronto Express, Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express lunch, dinner, breakfast is rearranged on the floor right next to the toilet. Is our railways so incompetent / brain dead / penniless that it cannot think of a better way.
Our railways need to clean up railway tracks in stations. Most of which is littered with human excreta. Is it so difficult to look into creating toilets along the same line as air plane or luxury bus? Entry to most cities and train stations are such an eye sore. Can railways not do some beautification by planting tress? Our railway platforms are most user unfriendly. Most platforms are not equipped with elevators and escalators. There is no connectivity with public transport system, except in Delhi. Waiting rooms are filthy and in a mess. Compared to any railway station in any developed country, our stations need a lot of improvement.
Can our minister, past or present, think of reducing travel time between Delhi and Mumbai or Kolkata to six hours or less? For this to happen we need high speed trains. Many people will stop using air travel. Minister must show vision to reduce time of travel between big cities by introducing fast trains. This may wean away people from air travel. Stations has a lot of scope to be modernised. People may not mind paying more, provided they get the service.