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Expat in Germany

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rail Budget...SENSEX falls!!

The new, techno powered government has extended its arm over the railways too. Today's rail budget seemed a very light and safe one where the government justified its move to increase fares (I agree. The other government did it last year too, no one protested) and then introduced new things to the railways, ones which don't consume lots of funds. Not many new lines. I guess the dream project, the diamond quadrilateral requires quite some money. And, the Indian railways do not have any!! For every one rupee earned, 94 paise was spent leaving a surplus of only 6 paise! Not a lot of money I guess.

The BJP-led government hasn't forgotten that e-governance has been their main agenda in the election campaign. e-ticketing to support 7200 tickets per minute is good and the irctc website now would be lesser appalling as 1,20,000 users can access it at the same time. Well, Brahma Vishnu Shiva have listened to your prayers, irctc users. But I was under the impression that irctc survived on the money it got on cancellation charges!! What now? And, wifi in A1 category stations! wow, I stay close to Secunderabad station. Hoping it is an A category station, I am going to sit on the railway platform with my laptop whenever I need internet. There are plug points on the platforms. So much at five rupees for the platform ticket, which again could be purchased online!! Woah!

Chanakya was quoted. The sweet news that an equivalent to the entire population of Australia is travelling in trains everyday in India has been reassuring actually. Delhi and Mumbai benefit and the "telugu twins," Andhra Pradesh and Telangana get some railway committee set up. We have been hearing about cleaner trains since my childhood days. Has to come from within!! Of course clean trains will run on profits. No doubt! The surplus is very less and there are dream projects on their minds! We shall see how it goes and how the budget betters in the coming years. I remember sensex gaining 1200 points after the railway budget few years ago and today, it fell by over 500 points, the worst in many days.

While much was not expected in the railway budget (seriously, after fare hikes??), I guess the removal of 5400 unmanned railway crossings, paperless charts, milk transport, internships for students and most importantly, ultrasonic track problem detector are the highlights of this budget. Overall, I feel this is a simple budget which focused on technical aspects which maybe the reason of less investments. Now, Indian railways should start chugging towards profits. Looking forward for the financial budget.