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'Railways should invest more money in J&K'
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | July 07, 2004 00:08 IST
Last Updated: July 07, 2004 00:09 IST
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav presented his first budget on Tuesday. rediff.com asked some commuters in Mumbai their opinion of the proposals that were outlined.
The decision to leave passenger fares untouched was widely welcomed.
"By not increasing train fares, the railway minister has made us very happy. But it would have been good if they would increase first class fares and used the additional revenue to subsidise second class fares," said 49-year-old Abdul Rahim Khan, who operates a book stall in Grant Road Station.
He praised the suburban railway service but said some improvement is necessary. "Many time trains stop between stations. Commuters don't know the reason for the stoppage. There should be a system to inform them.
"Frequency of services should increase, platforms should be cleaned and there must be a facility to promptly rush accident victims to hospitals.
"I don't want more modernisation because eventually we will have to bear the costs, in the form of higher fares. I want a comfortable journey at lowest cost."
He welcomed the decision to allot new book stalls in railway stations to widows and backward class people but said it would be unfair to do so at the expense of existing stalls.
Asked about the concession to unemployed youths attending interviews, Rahul Jawale, final (fourth) year student of mechanical engineering at Somaiya College, said, "We don't need it. We are capable of attending interviews at our own expense. But unemployed of poorer states need such a facility. These policies should be implemented only in specific states."
He says modernisation is necessary and so is attention to safety. "At night, drug addicts are to be seen on platforms. The railway police do not take action against them."
He says Mumbai's local trains could do with better designs and suspension systems for smoother journeys.
"Railways should invest more money in Jammu and Kashmir because people over there need it. It will make them realize that they are also part of this country. After all, the railway's job is to unite everyone."
Gopal Todkar, 30, a junior executive in Gujarat Nippon Bimetals Pvt Ltd, said "It's good if railways give concessions to unemployed youth and allot book stalls to them. They need it most. Railways should minimize seats in Mumbai's local trains to accommodate more people comfortably."
Dinesh Gupta, 41, who operates a book stall in Mumbai Central Station and travels in the first class, agreed with Gopal. "All seats in local trains should be removed to make enough space for commuters to travel comfortably. No one will mind standing for 30-45 minutes. Allotting book stalls to widows and the unemployed is a good idea but railways should ensure that these are operated by the intended beneficiaries or their family members to prevent misuse of this benefit."
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