24 September 2017


                                                     Suppose I ask my maidservant to take my car free of cost, she would say ‘no-thank you’. First thing, why I wanted to give my car free to her husband? Don’t I know that it will not be possible for her husband to maintain the car and build a garage? He can’t afford seventy rupees petrol for fifteen kilometers journey. With in no time the car would be sold as a junk for few thousand rupees. The mistake was on my part to have promised the car to a poor fellow who finds it difficult to meet his family expenses by working seven days a week. The maidservant was smart enough to say no because she knew the problems with a car.
                                                         Similarly one kilometer railway track for bullet train would cost 120 crores, where as for new tracks for 150-200 kilometer speed trains like saktiman-rajdhani—Durant would cost 8 crores per kilometers. The cost of traveling from Mumbai to Ahmadabad would be roughly 12 to 14 thousand rupees! How many people could afford to travel by this two hour train journey? We do not know how many people travel by Gatiman express daily? According to the data Gatiman has only managed 51% occupancy in executive chair. Where as in the same route Satabdi goes with 100% occupancy because of price factor.The train between Bhubaneswar to Howrah-Satabdi expresses goes empty most of the time. Indian have plenty of spare time hence speed is not their primary aim. They go on government leave and expenses, longer the trip better for TA &DA; they are not in a hurry. Now a days the first class railway fare is more than air fare from Bhubaneswar to Delhi or Bangalore. There is so much of rush in airports that the coolies are moving away from railway station to the runways?
                                                    Japan should have considered these factors as a true friend but they are business people they want the policy of buy one get one tactics.Most of you might recollect that when Suzuki produced the mini-car in India, all most all parts were from Japan including the tyres.It took twenty long years to accept Indian spare parts. Still it uses ‘S’ (Suzuki) on its cars instead of ‘M’ (Maruti)?
                                               I do not think this bullet train will ever run on Indian soil during our life time. During 1960—70s most of the steam engine driven express trains from Cuttack to Balasore used to take roughly four hours with 15 minutes stoppage for water at Jenapur and Bhadrak, now it takes three hours by the super-fast surcharged trains! In last four decades we have been able to cut the traveling distance by one hour? No one considers the number of people who travel in a long distance train with 24 compartments with an average speed of 55 to 70 kilometers per hour! One long distance train in India takes 82 hours to cover the distance from Assam to Cochin.
                                                               Yes, we know fast trains are required because railway is the life line of a country. But for that huge amount of revenue is required. Because someone is presenting me an elephant I will accept it? No it will be an act of foolishness on my part which everyone wills crticise.Lets improve our train lines and compartments and passenger comfort or leave it as such for the public to decide. Price factor is a big factor for business in India, hence Bullet train project would have a premature death.
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

No comments:

Post a Comment