February’s last two weeks each year, newspaper are flooded with the word “Railway Budget” and its always difficult to understand for a common man what exactly it is. So let me explain you guys in some simple words what is it and what shall we expect. To define Railway Budget, ” It is the estimation of Income and expense of Railway department for next financial year”. For the Railway major revenue comes from Sale of passenger tickets and second most source of income is Goods carriage or say freight. On the expense side they have a long list from maintaining coaches, tracks etc to staff expenses.
On the budget day we all wait for new trains to be announced from our home town while companies related to rail industry waits for new tenders and staff wait for rise in salary. But leaving all this expectations aside, i feel this year we also should lookout for some other announcements from the minister which are though minor but will surely improve our travelling experience with railway.
These are some of the points which i personally feel should be focused:
- Internet on Travel: Today when we are talking about Digital India and trying to connect more and more Indians through internet, we should think of seamless connectivity with less disconnection. At present, we are not able to get seamless connectivity on 2g/3g on mobile while travelling on trains but if wi-fi connection is available , though at some minimum cost it should surely make our travel more easy.
- Entertainment on the Go: Entertainment could be by many ways, but on the simpler note we should have a small screen display on each compartment which may display a list of movie just as we have on international flights or may be a common movie should broadcast across one bogie. This has a minimal cost but requires a lot post installation maintenance.
- Quality Food: A major step is required for quality food to be served on the train. We have seen some unhygienic food served so i expect some private contract for the catering. Even the tea quality hasnt been maintained.
- Verified Staff: It has been noticed many times that passenger finds it hard to verify the staff that whether he is a railway appointed or a random guy in the cloths alike railway staff. So may be some system that could make it easy for passengers to identify railway staff on the go
- Cleanliness: Of-course to some extent we the passengers are to be blamed for the dirty coaches but may be we can have a on demand staff to clean our compartment while the travel with some charges, because sometimes in long journey its difficult to travel with dirt around but we dont mind paying few bugs and get it clean. By this way may be we can improve overall conditions.
- Instant Quota: Though we have a Tatkal Quota, but we should also have some instant quota wherein a last minute travel can be arranged for which booking opens only 2 hours before with some high charges.
Though this all our points which i feel that should be prioritize for the betterment of our travel rather than expecting new travel options. There may be many other such suggestions, keep it coming the comments below.!! Lets discuss and get some idea what other things should helps our railway to improve. Until we dont consider as OUR we can keep it better. Government takes the initiative but we should follow it with true heart.
Disclaimer: All views mentioned are my personal and they are not intended for any one in person.