Skip to main content

Functioning like stock market, how dynamic booking system 'adversely' impacts Indians

By Sudhansu R Das 

Privatization is like riding a tiger. If a leader is not strong enough to tame the tiger, the beast will roam around killing and wounding people at will. The tiger with its enormous strength controls the leaders, twists policies and projects in his favor. Ultimately, the tiger devours the leader the way a cat plays with the mouse before eating it. 
A physically and intellectually strong leader equipped with grass root level knowledge and wisdom can tame the tiger and use its energy for nation building. A capable leader can ride a tiger to glory and save people’s time, money and energy to enhance their productivity for inclusive growth and prosperity.
On 19th December 2022, the cost of ticket in an air conditioned bus from Pune to Hyderabad rose to Rs 5,000 two days before the journey under the dynamic booking system which functions like stock market. The cost of bus tickets from Hyderabad to big Indian cities reaches between Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000; the cost of bus travel is higher than the cost of Air travel which has never happened ten years back. 
 On the same day all the train tickets from Pune to Hyderabad were booked and the only option left was to book Tatkal train tickets. On 11th December 2022, the Air ticket from Bhubaneswar to Hyderabad hovered around Rs 9,000 to Rs 12,000 depending on the flight time in a day and there was no ticket available in trains except Tatkal tickets. 
The availability of Tatkal tickets is like catching a falling star which disappears with a twinkle. Tatkal tickets get booked within a few seconds after the Railway booking website opens. The rail and flight booking websites are too crowded with Ads; many of the Ads are misleading.
The cost of travel in India has increased along with anxiety and uncertainties of people which adversely affect the economy and productivity of the majority of Indians. The demand for products should not be created through mischief and manipulation to make a few players rich while making the majority of the respectable Indian citizens suffer quietly. 
 The government should develop a state of the art monitoring mechanism to ensure that the money, anxiety and the productivity hours of the respectable Indian citizen is saved because it is the majority of the Indians who contribute relentlessly to sustain the economic growth; they absorb the shock from the recession, share the cost of loss due to bank frauds, carries the burden of the social sector and pay a maze of taxes.
Over the years, the services in many trains have visibly deteriorated. Stinking toilets, partially working flush and broken tap and handles are the regular scenes not only in sleeper class but in AC coaches of many trains. The food served in trains and in the stations is not properly checked for its quality. 
 The AC chair car coach of the Inter City train from Bhubaneswar to Visakhapatnam which was scheduled on 14th December 2022 had stinking and unclean toilets. The TT refused to give the complaint register but promised to get the toilets clean in the next station; it was done after a few stations. 
 Similarly, the Visakhapatnam-Kacheguda superfast express had no power 15 minutes before the departure time on 14th December 2022 due to some technical flaw. A well regulated, affordable and quick transportation network is key to inclusive growth.The Indian Railways instead of beautifying the platforms should focus on improving the basic necessities for the passengers; food quality, cleanliness, availability of tickets, affordability and comfort etc. 
 The dynamic booking system which increases the cost of tickets helps the rich people who can afford to pay; the higher middle class manage to pay and the middle class, the lower middle class and the poor people pay through the nose if they want to travel in an emergency. This system should be scrapped as it functions like a black market to erode people’s hard earned surplus income.
The railway minister and the top officials should travel by train during their official tours without revealing their identities. They should book their own tickets online to experience the difficulties faced by the respectable common Indian citizens. No official tour in flight should be allowed to railway officials.  
This is the first step to improve the rail governance in India which will increase the productivity hours of millions of people and save money worth thousands of crores of rupees. If the railway minister and his officials eat the food served in trains and on platforms with other respectable Indian citizens, they will understand today's problems. This will be an act of true and visible patriotism.
In the mythology, the path of good governance was shown to Indians by Lord Ram who travelled on foot, lived with villagers and forest dwellers for 14 years. He experienced the pain, anxiety, hope and aspiration of his subjects and established Ram Rajya which was the embodiment of good governance.
First hand information will always improve the services in the Indian Railway. Like rail service the quality of services in many Airports has also deteriorated. One will be appalled to see the deterioration in maintenance of wash rooms in the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. The wash room was stinking with a water logged floor; the trash from the tray was spilling out; waste paper and tea glasses were found in different corners. 
 In order to stem the rot, the officials of the Ministry of Aviation should monitor the ground level situation in the guise of ordinary passengers and give the message that the government is tough and will not tolerate any compromise on quality, hospitality and the services. They should manage the economy of scale better. There should be fear of punishment for indiscipline and laxity. Affordable cost, comfort and duration of travel always contribute to economic growth.
The realty sector gives 30 to 40 percent easy revenue to the state governments across the country. But, the errant urban sector growth destroys water bodies, creates pothole-filled roads, increases the water cost, pollutes air, depletes tree cover and increases the cost of the basic amenities like food, education, health and housing etc. All these things erode people’s surplus income which could be utilized for building sustainable economic assets for people. Infrastructures like roads, bridges, fly over, schools, colleges and hospitals are needed but too much of it serves little purpose because we can’t save cities with infrastructure unless we create employment opportunities in villages. 
 India has a huge population and it produces one Australian population every year; we can’t let all these people work in a few sectors like manufacturing, services and IT in urban areas; many other vibrant economic sectors in India need attention to grow. 
Political economists say GDP growth benefit will address poverty and unemployment; it will improve the living condition of people and provide the basic need to people. But, when will it happen?

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".