( Railway has been toying with different intelligent and not so intelligent ideas of enhancing their income.You may think its some kind of a joke but those already into it,for them this is THE source of living)
Its said, in a bureaucracy,one can never be great even if one aspires to be.To be great is anti-thesis of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy does not permit, leave alone promote greatness. It feels disturbed and threatened by any such misdemeanor. A frog in the well called bureaucracy, you can not rise in life. In case, you nurture any such misgivings to be great and wealthy you must get rid of bureaucracy before it gets you,sterotypes you,beats and chisels you into a square bloke to fit in their various ill conceived schemes.You think Newton would have been Newton had he continued to sit in class-room ? He became Newton due to his ramblings in the garden beside fun and frolic under the apple tree. Your salary can only keep you from starvation.You can just about survive. Thrive.. .? No !. Till you can count your money.you are not rich. So with TDS,form 16 and I.Tax Saral making your life anything but saral,forget being rich. You are not even well off. You may deny it but you are just about to keep wolves away from your doors.
Railway too is worried. Its income is less and outflow larger. Lets see what could be the other alternative financing sources. Source in India has a prominent place in everyone's life. Resourceful is one who has lots of source. We all know the actual meaning of being resourceful.Source is your force. You got to have one to survive and thrive in India, otherwise you are condemned to live from one pay commission to another.
Alternative # 1. Railway can learn a lesson or two from Behenji, putting statues, busts all over stations,of the highest bidders. Imagine in our nation of idol worshippers,where there are as many statues as living beings, people wait for their living to turn into statues before they could be revered.Huge revenue can be collected by auctioning eye catching locations on station complex and platforms.
2. You have heard CNBC, International bids would be invited to form a JV-- MNBC. MNBC (Multi National Beggars Corporation). No station, no platform,no train is away from their reach. Imagine the perennial downpour of 'chillar' (coins) in Railways coffers.Remember Penny wise..
3. How about introducing Beauty Parlors, Hair Styling Saloons, A to Z Massage Parlors and total satisfaction guaranting, LNTI (leaving nothing to imagination)- Escort services on board esp in long distance trains e.g. Durantos,Rajdhanis.
4. Bio-fertiliser Production : With millions contributing to India 'shining' campaign every morning along the track and millions doing the same in the train, Railway has to channelise this for her bio fertilizer plants and not let this waste go a waste. Need is, on the lines of DFC (dedicated freight corridore) Railway should set up DSC (dedicated shit corridore)
5. We hear, Railway is cultivating Jatopa on Railway wasteland in a big way for supplementing its fuel supply. This is not a brilliant idea. It would be far more productive if Railway cultivated poppey and opium.beside being highly lucrative, imagine the delight of Railway passengers along the route . Please reconsider.
6. Not a week passes without some gang duping unsuspecting job seeker. Fixing up a job for you in Railways is a big time industry. Entrepreneurs go talent hunting for those fictitious jobs in Railways. Innocent but desperate job seekers get attracted to them as effortlessly as insect to flame and ants to jaggery. Any way, tell me how can Railway let such a vast resource go waste in unorganised sector. If nothing else, Railway can go for PPP (public private partnership) All the Railwaymen 'd go talent scouting looking for potential clients and fleece them. Railway is country's life line. Can't these 'good for nothing' job seekers sacrifice their wealth for the sake of motherland. Railway is not asking for too much. In any case,in today's world of M3 (mall,multi-national and modelling) morality is begging for redefinition. I am confident, Railwaymen will take unprecedented interest in this voluntary activity and will leave no unemployed youth unrobbed.
7. One thing Indians can boast of is plenty of time to waste. Through generations wasting time has been our favourite pastime. We are hell of a lot 'contended' and laid back race. Grown ups waste time watching 'Balika Vadhu' while youth is window shopping in one mall or the other mushroomed in the city. Haven't you noticed, how they keep missing their trains. Exclusively for such people and they are no less in number, there will be new kind of train service called WTH service (waive to halt). These trains will stop at waive of your hand and you can get in or detrain as you please. This will be our 'Ameer Rath'. Railway may enhance ticket rates safely by 20 to 30 %. People will gladly pay due to their lethargy to walk upto the station and more for the sheer 'snob' effect it would carry among the ever so envious neighbours and relatives. You can expect record break income for Railways in this area.
8. Railway stations are always in news for all the wrong reasons. People caught drinking. My suggestion is to convert this weakness into our strength as also all the water-huts and cooler cages into 'Bar' . We have Rail Neer, similarly Railway can launch 'Rail Madhu'. Railway revenue will rise manifold. Later we can think of engaging those poor bar girls who in any case need urgent rehabilitation. In the civil society, Railway too has a social responsibility towards them.
9. Unauthorised vendors and illegal gamblers also make Railwaymen chase them, each for different reason. How about opening make shift market at platforms like the pavement market on a fixed week day in your neighbourhood. This will open up immense business possibilities. Passengers can freely haggle,negotiate and get things delivered right at their footboard. Poor vendors will get a decent place to honorably sell their wares. This will also, hopefully, put a stop on the high handedness of RPF which is always after them like Tom (Tom & Jerry)for one consideration and one consideration alone. We can call it Janta Mall or Rail Mall. Railway can make a fortune. History proves where ever Railway has gone commercial activities have followed so have pickpockets,mendicants,chain-snatchers and land mafia.
10. If you recall, Maruti-800 when launched, was priced low. Soon the manufactureres witnessed mad rush for the vehicle. Novaue riche were willing to pay huge sum in 'black' to acquire this prized possession before their neighbor or that worthless relative could. On the same lines Railways could tap this revenue going into the wrong hands of those cheats calling themselves 'agents' and introduce Tatkal like schemes viz. ATI-ATKAL,ATYANT-TATKAL, TURANT, HANG FROM DOOR, SIT ON ROOF schemes.
When Heritage has been so much in demand then why go for new generation engines,latest technique coaches and state of the art machinery. We got to stop this wastage forthwith,saving billions of rupees.
Actually, we have pampered our customers so much that like Oliver Twist they are ever asking for more.Look at the facilities we are providing on board,at stations,in retiring rooms. Frankly speaking,people do not have such amenities even at their homes,therefore, they are always seen rushing towards stations and crowding the paltforms and trains. Just see ! fans,coolers,AC, food stalls, chemists, t.v.,milk booths,coffee kiosks, toilet, bookstalls, weighing machines, shoe-shine boys, ATMs.and what not. You must ve come across a passenger or two in AC coach going around complaining that AC is not cool enough. By doing all this only, Railway has nearly committed the harakiri. I know a chap who works in Delhi but lives in a far off city. He sleeps in the train. Goes home only on weekends but travels upto his city daily. On his city station, his son would wait for him with dinner,a fresh pair of clothes plus latest news from home, letters etc. This guy will eat his dinner sleep in the coach, bathe,change in train and attend office next morning to travel again to his city (station). When I questioned him that he might as well live in Delhi, he informed that rents in Delhi would cost him much more than his salary,beside he gets to eat fresh meal cooked by his loving wife.. Second and more importantly, he declared, its Indian Railway and he is an Indian, so why this difference between train and home. He was against discrimination of any kind in any form.
Similarly, we may put a stop and halt all those money guzzler projects and building bridges, FOBs (foot over bridges) unnecessary office annexes, laying new tracks, installing elevators etc. This will have a long term positive effects on the physical as well as financial health of the nation. People will walk, be less prone to diseases and not fall victim of 'life style' ailments such as diabetese, kidney and heart complications. Poor rickshaw, tonga walas will get their long lost business back. In doing so, your noble contribution towards promoting pollution free environment will not go unnoticed. We owe it to our children.
Last but not the least, one up than IRCTC, we should have IRTD..didn't get ? Theft & Dacoity Corporation ... Less said the better.