Why the Railway Fare Hike is Justified

It is a common sight nowadays for opposition parties to slam the ruling party on every other issue. Recently, it came into bold headlines a...

It is a common sight nowadays for opposition parties to slam the ruling party on every other issue. Recently, it came into bold headlines and front pages that the newly elected BJP government has increased the fare by a staggering 14.2%. At first sight we feel it's unnecessary, really. It is our natural instinct, so if you think same, you're no wrong. But was this change really required? A big yes.

In the financial year 2012-13, Railways reported a loss of Rs. 24,600 crores.
Railways are the lifeline of the country. If there existed no Railways, imagine the chaos and situation that the same "common man" had to face. Over the last decades, Indian Railways suffered huge losses one after the another- and that too, in thousands of crores. In the financial year 2012-13, Railways reported a total loss of almost Rs. 24,600 crores.

Losses upon losses. All because of the ignorance of previous ministers, and their intentions to appease the public. I asked a few officers of the Indian Railways on the same issue. They were glad that the fare was hiked. And why not, being senior officials, they realize the burden themselves.

The compromise for all the low prices the last decade? Safety. Comfort. Food quality. Filthy stations. And the list goes on, one can stretch it as much as is required. The Indian Railways is the world's largest public sector enterprise and an complete overhaul of the old system was required. The Ministry of Railways has donated life back to the Railways.

We, Indians, have a typical mindset that all good things should come at a cheap price. Say that to business tycoons, and they'd laugh it off. We want the bullet trains in India, we want air conditioners even in local EMU trains that daily passengers commute in. It is a common Bengali proverb, "Poisa ki gache fale?" (Does money grow on trees?). I have pondered on it many a times; and it fits perfectly into this scenario.


The Railways, as I see it now, currently stands as a handicapped person. There is a lot of probability that it is going to be all set after it receives the right healthcare. Let's not be selfish in our approach; let's spend a few pennies more and save the doomsday. 14.2% can do wonders, after all. 

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