If the presumption was that VVIP tradition had lengthy been ended, the unfolding occasions on the intervening evening of August 28-29 – when a Superfast prepare pulled in on the Gwalior railway station – turned up as relatively a shocker. Weaving via the mass of drowsy passengers making their approach out of the station, a SUV numbered MP-07-BR-4779 made its technique to the place the AC-1 coach was positioned with the obvious goal of receiving Union Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar. A video clip of the incident went viral on the social media; though Tomar has himself denied that the breach of railway rules had been carried out for his profit.
Successive governments and political leaders have pledged austerity in public life, however the political class has continued to perpetuate India’s feudal tradition – so signified because the “Lal Batti” (crimson beacon) tradition. The final one had heard of a automobile being pushed down a platform was on the Bengaluru railway station to obtain former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.
For historic causes maybe, the officialdom of the Indian railways has remained steeped in a medieval time warp. There is the case of a former railways Minister who handed out a dressing all the way down to the bunch of officers accompanying him for not having taken care of positioning the Minister’s railway saloon shut by. As a end result, the Minister needed to stroll a number of steps in Delhi’s balmy monsoon months to board the regal carriage!
Common information is that the workplace of Delhi’s Divisional railway Manager (DRM) capabilities because the port of name for VVIPs embarking or disembarking on prepare journeys. On a mean, roughly 300 VVIPs are both arriving or departing on prepare journeys from the New Delhi or the peripheral stations. Each one among these are normally escorted to their berths by personnel of the railway Protection Force (RPF) or the Government railway Police (GRP). Along the journey, the catering and housekeeping employees are normally discovered cringing and crawling to please the particular travellers.
The “Mai Baap” (My Lord) tradition hurts professionalism and denies prospects their rightful claims to providers which can be commensurate of their cash’s value. The VVIP tradition should finish.
Rail Land Monetisation
On paper, the concept seems grand: The railways will lease out an estimated 12,066 acres of unused or deserted land to non-public gamers to construct purchasing malls, plazas, places of work or residential complexes; fetching investments value a whopping Rs. 1 lakh crore and producing extra revenues of an estimated Rs. 10,000 crore. While this proposal awaits approval of the Union Cabinet, a key query stays unanswered: What concerning the moral points concerned within the transfer of the Indian railways to monetise land that was awarded to it for constructing tracks or creating rail infrastructure?
The Rail Yatri Niwas – offering reasonably priced lodging services for inter-change passengers – had been a everlasting function at main railway stations together with New Delhi in previous many years. During UPA-1, the Rail Yatri Niwas on the New Delhi station was leased out to the Tata Group, which now runs the renovated construction because the Ginger Hotel. No concessions or particular services are provided on the lodge for rail passengers as the ability is now run as a business enterprise. Of course, the Indian railways are benefiting by way of lease cash; however rail passengers have been denied a service that had been initially meant for them. Will passengers discover themselves equally short-changed; now that the Indian railways is transferring in for business exploitation of vacant land? Such questions are arising.
Along with the Defence Forces, the Indian railways are the most important homeowners of land. Through its 165 12 months historical past, the railways have acquired land to construct tracks or to increase its infrastructure. “The idea of commercial exploitation of railway land had been rejected in past years on such premises alone. Several committees including the parliamentary standing committee on railways have held the view that rail land cannot be put to any use apart from providing public utility to the passengers. According to the original provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, land not required by the railways was needed to have been returned to the state government concerned,” stated R Jaruhar, founding Chairman of the Rail Land Development Agency (RLDA).
According to the railway proposal, vacant land at 600 recognized stations will likely be bid out for business use reminiscent of development of malls, places of work or residential buildings on a 99-year lease. This is in contravention to the accepted worldwide norms of awarding PPP tasks on a 40-year lease. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) can also be stated to have reservations to the railway proposal of leasing land for housing functions additionally. The Union Cabinet, at its subsequent assembly, is more likely to deliberate on such points.