Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 24, 2017,  Rajesh Kalra | TOI

The Indian Railways is going through an extremely poor phase as far as passenger safety is concerned. Big accidents resulting in huge loss of lives are happening with alarming frequency. Its resources are stretched thin. Infrastructure is creaking.

(Picture courtesy: PTI)

At a time like this, when all its resources and efforts should go towards ensuring that whatever is there is kept operational to the best of its abilities, getting all starry-eyed is absurd. By permitting Shah Rukh Khan to travel from Mumbai to Delhi in the Rajdhani Express to promote his forthcoming film, and not just that, by acting sickeningly starry-eyed through gushing tweets, the Railways have done just that.

(Picture courtesy: PTI)

Stories and videos abound of the hardships that were encountered by genuine travelers, the aged and the handicap, as SRK moved between the two cities on the busiest rail route of the country. Tens of thousands of his fans thronged the stations along the route, all of who had been informed well in advance about the superstar’s programme through a saturation publicity blitz.

(Picture courtesy: AFP/ Money Sharma)

And, as we all know, that wasn’t all. The prevailing chaos at all stations even resulted in an unfortunate death of an elderly gent at Vadodara railway station. Of course, one can argue that the local railway authorities at Vadodara were at fault, and that at all other places, they handled the situation well, the truth is this is no more than an attempt to extricate themselves from a patently wrong decision – the decision to grant permission to hold an ill-conceived event. An event whose fallout should have been anticipated.

And can you blame his PR and promotion team, really? I don’t think so. The sole blame for the chaos lies with the Railways alone. Railways is an institution, a national asset, the nation’s lifeline, literally, as it moves our countrymen across the length and breadth of the country at affordable rates. Did it give it any thought before it agreed to let a national institution be used for a private, profit-motivated event? If it was happening at a secluded place, without interfering with the normal operations, one can understand, but this was on a popular train on India’s busiest route. Surely not done, Railways!

(Picture courtesy: Viral Bhayani)

Honestly, looking at the pictures and videos of crowds at each station, the stampede like situations, the mild lathi charge at Kota, the crowds hanging from the sides of foot over-bridges at Nizamuddin, it is a miracle that something far worse didn’t happen. I am reminded of the tragedy at a station on the outskirts of Allahabad during Kumbh a few years ago. That also happened due to overcrowding and sudden movement of masses from one platform to the other. Clearly, the Railways haven’t learnt their lesson.

(Picture courtesy: PTI)

Of course, it is anyone’s guess if even one of these tens of thousands who thronged the platforms purchased the platform ticket. Those rules apply onto to the law-abiding citizens who come to see passengers off or receive them. But if you are part of a tamasha event, you have the license to come and go free, make life hell for a genuine passenger. After all, the private entity that had been given the permission for the event had already paid for all of them. Right, Railways?


Welcome To AILRSA....


Admin Area

Blog Archive

AILRSA 1970 - . Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

Are You Satisfied with 7th Pay commission ?

Popular Posts

Recent Posts

Text Widget