Monday, February 16, 2009

Hard Hitting comments on the Indian Railway Budget

The Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav has been an entertainer and shrewd politician. As the GDP growth surged, the fortunes of the railways also improved. Remember that the logistics sector tracks GDP growth.
The media proclaimed Laloo Prasad Yadav to be the expert who turned around this ailing public sector enterprise!!!!
"A rising tide lifts all boats." How is the Railways going to react to the impending slowdown in domestic and international trade?

Here is some very 'constructive' criticism of Railway Policies over the last 5- 6 years, that will hopefully encourage policies to reinvest in infrastructure and plan for long term growth opportunities of the Indian Railways.


A tale of missed opportunities: Sumant Chak

BS Reporter / New Delhi February 14, 2009, 0:39 IST

The operational and financial performance sustained over the last five-six years has been commendable. Sadly, these are also years of missed opportunities, with capacity generation and modernisation of the system being the important casualties.

The system’s capacity to run trains has been exploited to saturation. The ground reality is that there has been no important capacity generation in the last five years. Similarly, older coaches, locomotives and wagons continue in service with no improvement in passenger comfort or freight carrying capacity. The dedicated freight corridor project, which signalled the intent to increase system’s capacity substantially, remains mostly on paper.
Similar is the case of a slew of projects announced over the years. Coach, wheel and locomotive factories that were promised some years back have languished in the files and none is even remotely close to fruition.
It is important to understand that the railway infrastructure is not created in a day. Unless project planning and execution are given priority, the country’s railway will not become world-class. The increasing populism in the last two budgets and this one, therefore, reflects a tale of missed opportunities. Future generations will rue today’s tardiness.

Sumant Chak, Director (International Relations), Asian Institute of Transport Development, New Delhi Former Additional Railway Board member. """"


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