The common manís take
Feb. 26: When Union railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal was presenting the railway budget today, Guwahati railway station was busy with common activity. The Telegraph talked to some passengers and common people to know their reaction to the budget.
A.K. Azad: The fare between Nagaon and Guwahati is Rs 25 now. The hike of the fare from Rs 19 to Rs 25 on January 21 this year affected my family budget, as my daily income is low. It is good that there is no hike in passenger fares this time. Otherwise, it would have given me a big blow. Even an increase of fare by Re 1 affects the life of poor people like us.
Sankar Malo: The step in the e-ticketing system (to book over 7,000 tickets in a minute and increase the load of simultaneous login from 40,000 to 1 lakh users) is a commendable one. I work in a company and it is difficult to manage time to stand in queue for tickets. The new e-ticketing system will help me a lot. Besides, the decision to fill up 47,000 posts for the weaker section and physically challenged is also welcome. This would bring job opportunities to people like us.
Jayanta Choudhury: The Union minister spoke of his target for zero accident in railways, for which the Indian Railways needs proper infrastructure. Is there proper infrastructure? Besides, staff count is decreasing every year and there has not been any initiative to fill up all those vacancies. Passenger service has also deteriorated. But to run the system well and to reduce accidents, railways needs adequate manpower. Step for e-ticketing is a good move.
Salil Sengupta: The decision to make an independent Rail Tariff Authority is a good move. If the authority comes into existence, there would be no abrupt hike of fares, as people from different walks of life will be in the body. The decision to increase reservation fee for Tatkal services and superfast trains would affect lives of many people. Increase of 5 per cent fare in freight would lead to increase prices of various commodities.