In recent times, i am getting more and more interested to know about Indian railways as I am getting more and more attracted to the potential and possibilities that Indian railway can play in developing a grid of transportation network across the country. I started getting on to the trains even for my short travels to say from one city to the immediate neighborhood city. but the recent changes in the ticketing systems kept me surprised for various reasons.
Even now, I am not convinced about Tatkal quota. Is it the way the Railways think the most needy commuters get benefit of the railway network or is it the targeted marketing? Though I have booked the tickets under Tatkal seva for many times, most of the times, it was because tickets were not available in the open quota otherwise. It was not an emergency travel as it is defined or appraised under tatkal system but the reason was that there were not many trains to give me assured births.
Recently, railways has changed the rules for Tatkal and for upper class passengers. it days that the id card that was used while reserving the ticket shall be carried by the passengers while on the board. i had a bad experience in the recent times when I had other ID cards in my wallet except the one that I had used for reservation. All the ID cards I had photos and were issued by GoI departments. But this was not a satisfactory explanation for TTE on the board. After five hours disgusting arguments on and between TTE allowed me to travel overnight. I asked TTE a very simple question; when you are not ready to accept other ID cards issued by the other departments which has my DoB and photo and address which are same as in the railway chart, wont you have the trust in other departments and in these ID cards. He said he could not help me as the law states otherwise ...
Now they are saying that ID cards are necessary for the upper class passengers. first of all, I am not sure what does it mean. ID cards are not required for Sleeper class passengers. Does it mean that those who spend more for A/c births do their best to corrupt the system? or how can one say that these A/c births are reserved by upper middle class and not by the lower strata of the society. I fear this is a socialist mentality of the railways where they do not trust anyone but hide their own faults. Or are they admitting that the Sleeper class passengers cannot be enforced with the ID cards as it has more in numbers thus admitting the failure of the Government to provide an ID to all in this country or the confusion prevailing in the ID market.
Last but not the least, I wonder how do these provisions help the needy customers to grab (?) a seat in the limited numbers of seat offered by Indian railways. what we need is more number of lines and more number of trains according to the needs of the commuting public. I believe that if the Indian economy has to grow there should be boarder less travel for the citizens within the country and that can be facilitated by the railways only. Resource crunch is a self inflict one as there are more than 16 million passengers (it is a huge resource for raise funds) per day.What is required is the vision to budge the cattle class usage from Indian context..