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 Post subject: Indian Railways Thread
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2007 04:27 
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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 09:59 
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Lalu’s new coach courts controversy

[quote]...
The Railways has unveiled a prototype of a high-capacity AC 3-Tier coach in which the capacity has been increased from 64 berths to 72 berths. A third foldable berth has been introduced between the existing two berths on the longitudinal side. But the officials are now wondering where the passenger using the new berth will sit during the day when the berth is folded.

Officials at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, say there are several options. “The first is to accommodate the new user on one of the berths facing each other on cabin side. But since this may lead to dispute, we have proposed that the users of both the middle and the top berths on the longitudinal side be adjusted with the three passengers on the cabin berths facing each other,â€


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 11:29 
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If approved, this will mean that passengers travelling on the cabin-side will have to accommodate two more passengers leading to congestion even in day

:rotfl: welcome to the revolution. the next step is folding catamaran seating outside the wagons.

the existing coaches were too crowded with people & luggage and he goes in to pack in even more people n luggage.

dont these clowns ever solicit some public feedback I guess not since Laloo, his IRS minions always travel in 1-AC and special wagons with separate kitchen and luxurious bedrooms.

our III tier non-AC qualifies as the WORST railway experience in the world
.

the toilets just got more addl clients to s*** on the floor and not use
flush 8)


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 12:07 
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[quote="RaviBg"]Lalu’s new coach courts controversy

[quote]...
The Railways has unveiled a prototype of a high-capacity AC 3-Tier coach in which the capacity has been increased from 64 berths to 72 berths. A third foldable berth has been introduced between the existing two berths on the longitudinal side. But the officials are now wondering where the passenger using the new berth will sit during the day when the berth is folded.

Officials at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, say there are several options. “The first is to accommodate the new user on one of the berths facing each other on cabin side. But since this may lead to dispute, we have proposed that the users of both the middle and the top berths on the longitudinal side be adjusted with the three passengers on the cabin berths facing each other,â€


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 12:33 
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Who was it that once said in an interview that Indians expect World class facilities but will only pay third world prices for it... Vijay Mallya?

A pint of Beer in a cheap bar in hyderabad cost 500 bucks... 100 more than what I would pay for Hyderabad to Rajamundry round trip (500 KM one way) in a reserved second class compartment. A pint of beer in US costs around 8 bucks and would not even pay for a cab ride back home.

I travelled by Amtrak in US from NO to Birmingham (300 miles, comparable to Hyd-RJY which was < 300 RS 5 years back) and back in a AC chair car which costed me 80 bucks. The train starts in NO and goes all the way to NY. So it was very clean and few passengers on board when I boarded it and took a sweet 8 - 10 hrs to reach birmingham. Boarded the same train, on its way from NY to NO, on my way back and again it was pretty empty. But there was one difference... no one was sitting within 10 feet of the rest rooms. they were filthy and the aroma was everywhere.

Never travelled in AC compartments, never could afford them, so don't know if the price is comparable to the service provided and if it is world class. Can anyone who have used similar service in phoren land do a comparision?

Having said that, squeezing three people in the side berth is not practical at any price point. But at the same time it should be kept in mind that railways is not run for the few elite who would be willing to couple of extra bucks to travel in comfort and luxury. That section of passengers are fast moving to Air travel anyway. So railways is doing the right thing by concentrating on their primary customers who are the 'swalpa adjust maadi' kind if it saves them a couple of bucks. Ask yourself, how much profit does the railway make on passenger fares and how come the fares havent gone up in the last two rail budgets inspite of a hike in electricity and diesel prices?


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 12:40 
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Remember the 15 paise post cards? Its price has been changed from 15 ps to 25 in the last 27 years and that too was criticized!! Quality of the card went downhill and all kinds of restrictions were put in place.


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 12:46 
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with airline fares increasing, there is a gap between even 2AC and the cheapest airfares. also railways touch every corner not just major cities with airports. if they can introduce japan/EU std intercity or long haul trains running steadily at 150 kmph can find plenty of customers.

but IR looks determined to harass and chase off anybody who expects comfort and cleanliness and is capable of paying for it.


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 13:02 
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I agree, IMO, railways should be split into two companies one providing low cost service with 4 tier seating arrangement with their garib raths and another company that provides Kingfisher like service to those who can afford it. The Low cost service provider can directly get grants from govt. and its freight service to subsidize its passenger service which is being done by AC compartment passengers now. May be the kingfisher like entity can be privatized!


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 13:41 
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Are you suggesting more premium services than Rajdhanis but from private providers?

IMO, there will be a deadlock on sharing of resources between these two companies. In major stations, there simply are not enough platforms ( leave aside sharing of the double line tracks ). There is no escaping huge capacity expansion, there simply isnt enough capacity on the heavy routes ( my experience is limited to western railway ).

For most common people, getting a reservation in a non-AC 3 Tier feels like a boon ( not that they wont be happy with better amenities ). My point is, that even the high-density packing in these sub-human "sleeper class" aint enough. Laloo should focus on expanding facilities and not waste time on gimmicks like "garib rath" that downgrade even the current service.


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 14:01 
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railways are funded on public money and pvt resources like selling of catering contracts, stalls, etc. While IR focusses on garib raths and line expansion, pvt cos should be allowed to run their own trains providing whatever level of service the market will buy - palace on wheels down to EU intercity stds. IR can provide the guard bodies, engines and collect rent.

or else atleast introduce shatabdi and rajdhani type all-AC trains on a mass
basis not on current small scale.

meantime Reliance has ordered 500 wagons to carry vegetables for Fresh
chain place to place. Raju wont be pleased to hear his fav veggies from
west UP disappearing down South
:D

PSU airlines are sharing airports with pvt planes. no reason why IR cannot
be shared. Railway stations should be placed under "IR-AAI" separate
from rolling stock , signaling. IR coach factories can be easily sold off.


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2007 16:58 
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In stead of stuffing more people into each wagon, perhaps lalu and Co should look into increasing the speed, so that the utiliasation of the massive infrastructure increases (not to mention the productivity of the public).

If the standard speed would be increased to 150 km per hour, then a 600 km journy could be done by 4 hours. The trains could do more rounds.


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 03:54 
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Rajdhani gives food for thought

LINK

Quote:
NEW DELHI: Think twice the next time you dig into that succulent morsel of chicken while travelling on a Rajdhani or a Shatabdi. In all probability, it was cooked 7-8 hours before, packed in unhygienic drums and dumped into steel vessels on the trains, a surefire recipe- experts warn -of food going stale before it is served to the unsuspecting passenger.

This, and other equally shocking facts have surfaced in a report prepared by a Delhi high court-appointed monitoring committee which conducted surprise checks on five private kitchens supplying food to passengers travelling on these luxury trains.

The committee has slammed this practice of preparing packed food. Aided by two experts, Alok Shivpuri, director of Pusa Institute, and Shikha Sharma, a well-known dietician, the committee in its report suggests an urgent need to "completely revamp this method" as the time lag of 7-8 hours between the food being cooked and served could pose a health hazard.

Insinuating that there was prior intimation to the private kitchens about the committee's visit, the report reveals several attempts by the private catering staff to cover up their inefficiencies. For instance, one of the caterers responsible for supply of food to the Bilaspur and Ahmedabad Rajdhanis stuffed the deep freezer with packets of fresh branded raw chicken.

But the foul smell from the conditioner made the members suspicious, who discovered that loose stale chicken pieces were hidden at the back of the freezer.


Terming it as an "unprofessional approach", the committee bemoans that these kitchens are not following the food production safety norms. In some of the kitchens the source of water for preparation of food was the overhead tank installed in the building.

Surprised that the places where the food is prepared resembled average road side dhabas , the report says some do not even have a toilet or a wash basin and the staff have to depend on the nearest public toilet to relieve themselves. The 'so-called kitchens' do not have basic infrastructure and facilities required for a kitchen such as shelves, racks and other storage items, the report says.

Again, the report says, even the kitchen managers are blissfully unaware of technical details like maintaining temperature suitable for cooked food, ventilation of kitchen and handling of food items. No method of cooling down the food to 10 degrees Celsius and reheating before the actual service is followed by these kitchens, according to the committee comprising Delhi High Court Bar Association president Amarjit Singh Chandiok, secretary Kirti Uppal and the petitioner Varun Goswami.

If the hygiene aspect left much to be desired, the committee was also dissatisfied with the documentation and paper work maintained by the caterers. A supplier to the Amritsar Shatabdi was found to have no register for receipt and dispatch of goods, staff attendance or the number of visitors entering the kitchen, the report says.

Suggesting a host of measures to improve the quality of catering on trains, committee says every kitchen should have a complete and proper team of qualified staff, trained in running and maintaining a kitchen and undertaking cooking operations. The kitchen itself should be hygienic, well ventilated with regular pest control schemes and regular cleaning, suggest the experts.


If this is true then it is definitely just awesome mess. I will think twice before having some food on Shatabdi or Rajdhani and the best idea to carry from home.

Poor tranining, unprofessional approach, lack of basic standards are to blame. Wake up call for Lalu and company.. :oops:


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 04:19 
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http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/7674/mumbai06hf1.jpg

Food on IR


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 09:54 
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the avg dhaba serves better food than this. was it rajdhani or a normal exp train?

stds of the airline industry have to be followed by these railchefs. there is a co named SkyChef in blr near by office which supplies most flights here.

Rajdhani's being overnight trains isnt the food prepared in the pantry car ?
Shatabdi I can understand cooking offshore.


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 17:35 
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Don't know Singha ji. Found it on SSC.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost. ... stcount=28

I think it is Hyderabad - Mumbai route.


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 20:49 
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gauravsurati wrote:
Rajdhani gives food for thought

LINK

Quote:
NEW DELHI: Think twice the next time you dig into that succulent morsel of chicken while travelling on a Rajdhani or a Shatabdi. In all probability, it was cooked 7-8 hours before, packed in unhygienic drums and dumped into steel vessels on the trains, a surefire recipe- experts warn -of food going stale before it is served to the unsuspecting passenger.

This, and other equally shocking facts have surfaced in a report prepared by a Delhi high court-appointed monitoring committee which conducted surprise checks on five private kitchens supplying food to passengers travelling on these luxury trains.

The committee has slammed this practice of preparing packed food. Aided by two experts, Alok Shivpuri, director of Pusa Institute, and Shikha Sharma, a well-known dietician, the committee in its report suggests an urgent need to "completely revamp this method" as the time lag of 7-8 hours between the food being cooked and served could pose a health hazard.

Insinuating that there was prior intimation to the private kitchens about the committee's visit, the report reveals several attempts by the private catering staff to cover up their inefficiencies. For instance, one of the caterers responsible for supply of food to the Bilaspur and Ahmedabad Rajdhanis stuffed the deep freezer with packets of fresh branded raw chicken.

But the foul smell from the conditioner made the members suspicious, who discovered that loose stale chicken pieces were hidden at the back of the freezer.


Terming it as an "unprofessional approach", the committee bemoans that these kitchens are not following the food production safety norms. In some of the kitchens the source of water for preparation of food was the overhead tank installed in the building.

Surprised that the places where the food is prepared resembled average road side dhabas , the report says some do not even have a toilet or a wash basin and the staff have to depend on the nearest public toilet to relieve themselves. The 'so-called kitchens' do not have basic infrastructure and facilities required for a kitchen such as shelves, racks and other storage items, the report says.

Again, the report says, even the kitchen managers are blissfully unaware of technical details like maintaining temperature suitable for cooked food, ventilation of kitchen and handling of food items. No method of cooling down the food to 10 degrees Celsius and reheating before the actual service is followed by these kitchens, according to the committee comprising Delhi High Court Bar Association president Amarjit Singh Chandiok, secretary Kirti Uppal and the petitioner Varun Goswami.

If the hygiene aspect left much to be desired, the committee was also dissatisfied with the documentation and paper work maintained by the caterers. A supplier to the Amritsar Shatabdi was found to have no register for receipt and dispatch of goods, staff attendance or the number of visitors entering the kitchen, the report says.

Suggesting a host of measures to improve the quality of catering on trains, committee says every kitchen should have a complete and proper team of qualified staff, trained in running and maintaining a kitchen and undertaking cooking operations. The kitchen itself should be hygienic, well ventilated with regular pest control schemes and regular cleaning, suggest the experts.


If this is true then it is definitely just awesome mess. I will think twice before having some food on Shatabdi or Rajdhani and the best idea to carry from home.

Poor tranining, unprofessional approach, lack of basic standards are to blame. Wake up call for Lalu and company.. :oops:


There was a news expose which showed Lunch Trays meant to be served to Bombay-Delhi Passengers was packed in a filthy unit located in Dharavi.


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 21:43 
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http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/6644/h ... 901su5.jpg
http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/9850 ... 601da0.jpg
http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/103/ ... oorcm8.jpg
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/1745 ... dowdd9.jpg
http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/2111 ... ch2bu7.jpg
Looks like new trains. These are taken somewhere in AP.

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/4846 ... toiwq3.jpg
Quote:
An engine of the train that will eventually connect Kashmir to the rest of India being hauled along the Jammu-Srinagar highway. It will join a coach sitting at the Srinagar station, which is still under construction. Railways hope to complete the entire project to link Jammu to Srinagar by 2008


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 16:55 
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shyamd wrote:
http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/6644/hp2004072901su5.jpg
http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/9850 ... 601da0.jpg
http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/103/ ... oorcm8.jpg
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/1745 ... dowdd9.jpg
http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/2111 ... ch2bu7.jpg
Looks like new trains. These are taken somewhere in AP.

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/4846 ... toiwq3.jpg
Quote:
An engine of the train that will eventually connect Kashmir to the rest of India being hauled along the Jammu-Srinagar highway. It will join a coach sitting at the Srinagar station, which is still under construction. Railways hope to complete the entire project to link Jammu to Srinagar by 2008


Good photos.

Last one might be running like that for another 2-3 years :D


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 19:54 
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Source: Wall Street Journal


By ERIC BELLMAN
April 19, 2007; Page A1

MUMBAI, India -- There was a time, just a few years ago, when Jagdish Malwankar had no problem getting a seat on the Valsad express commuter train that takes him to work in the city center.

Today, Mumbai's trains are so overcrowded that one morning in January when he stumbled getting off a train, 10 people fell on him and he broke his foot. Another day recently, in the crush to board, fellow commuters shoved him onto the tracks. Two train cars passed over him before anyone noticed he had fallen.

Often, Mr. Malwankar, who is an education inspector for the western state of Maharashtra, witnesses something much worse. In January, he says, he saw two fellow commuters fall off the roof of the train and get sliced in half. And he saw a body on the platform missing its arms and legs. "Once or twice a month, I see people killed or injured on the tracks," says the 45-year-old Mr. Malwankar.
See footage of people in India trying to squeeze into old trains.

India's economic growth in the past several years has brought new wealth and a higher standard of living to many in this metropolis of 18 million. But it also has created suburban sprawl that is adding more people to a rail network that has seen few new trains or tracks added in the past 30 years.

Indian officials have a new term to describe the 2.5 times capacity crowds that now ride at peak hours: Super-Dense Crush Load. That is, 550 people crammed into a car built for 200.

The result is what may be the world's most dangerous commute. According to Mumbai police: 3,404 people, or about 13 each weekday, were killed in 2006 scrambling across the tracks, tumbling off packed trains, slipping off platforms, or sticking their heads out open doors and windows for air.

The toll has been increasing as daily ridership has increased to more than six million people a day. Last year's tally was up 10% from the year before. Accidents are so common that stations stock sheets to cover corpses.

The commute in many Indian cities has been getting worse as throngs flock from the countryside to urban centers in search of work, and housing developments create a new suburbia.

In Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, the railway system has long been a problem. But with ticket prices set artificially low by the federal government -- the one-hour trip from the southern tip of Mumbai to Mr. Malwankar's station costs less than 25 cents -- it is a money-losing business.

The federal and state governments have squabbled in the past over who is responsible for improvements. Now, a $2 billion upgrade is under way, partly financed by a loan from the World Bank. But that will take at least another five years to finish.

Meanwhile, the network's tracks carry 20,000 passengers a day for each kilometer, or 0.62 mile, of rail, eclipsing even Tokyo -- famous for its gloved pushers who cram passengers into cars -- where the system carries 15,000 per kilometer. In New York, the Long Island Rail Road's comparable number is 420, according to the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corp.

Even after the current expansion plans add 113 miles, or 22%, to the existing railways and 147, or 74%, more trains, Mumbai's commuter trains will still have to carry 1.5 times their capacity during peak hours.

The overcrowding has overwhelmed Mumbai's police. Around 200 officers spend most of their time dealing with deaths on the rails, says R.E. Pawar, a deputy commissioner of police in charge of the railways. The police have to first collect the bodies and bring them to the hospital to be confirmed dead by doctors. "Even if they are in four pieces, we are not able to certify whether they are dead," says Mr. Pawar.
[hanging out the doors]
Eric Bellman
India's rail commuters hang out the doors of overcrowded trains.

Officers then take photos and clothing samples to put into a gruesome computer database so the victims' families can identify the bodies. Morgues don't have enough refrigerated spaces to keep all the bodies, and after seven days the police bury or cremate bodies. Even with the database, more than a third of the bodies are never claimed.

Many of the railway casualties are people crossing the tracks, too rushed or tired to use packed pedestrian overpasses. Mr. Pawar's officers fined more than 30,000 people $22 each for crossing the tracks last year and 1,712 for riding on top of trains. If a family can prove a victim was a commuter not a track trespasser, it is entitled to damages -- usually less than $10,000 -- from the Railway Claims Tribunal.

Frustrated commuters riot a few times each year, rampaging through stations, lighting trains on fire and throwing rocks at police. "The [train] engineer is the first target," Mr. Pawar says. "They catch him and they beat him."

The soft-spoken Mr. Malwankar, who smiles even as he recounts his troubles, usually begins his morning commute at 8:30, when he arrives at Borivali Station 30 minutes early so he can start working his way through the crowds. He bought his apartment near the station, which is at the end of the line in Mumbai's northern suburbs in the hopes it would make it easier for him to get a seat.

"There was nothing here until 2001," he says, pointing outside the window of his simple apartment to a view now obstructed by new apartment blocks. "Now we have a big road, traffic and a mall."

The trains that pull into his end-of-the-line station are already full. That's because commuters have started taking them in the wrong direction so they can grab seats when the trains turn around.

On the platform, Mr. Malwankar hooks up with a group of 10 friends -- government workers and bankers mostly -- whom he met on the commute. They now invite one another to weddings and big family meals. It was one of his commuting companions who yanked the emergency cord when Mr. Malwankar fell under the train.

"It's because of these friends that I still have my life," says Mr. Malwankar. "Nobody else would have noticed and I would have been killed."

Once on the train, he tries to move away from the doors where most of the pushing and shoving happen as people jump on and off the train even while it is moving. Three stations before a change of trains, he starts edging toward the door.

After another ride on a different line, two hours after leaving the house, and in temperatures that can reach 104 degrees in the summer, Mr. Malwankar exits at Chembur Station in the center of the city. Then he walks about five minutes to the office.

Since he broke his foot, Mr. Malwankar says he has considered switching to the first-class cars, which have fans and cushions, but they are only slightly less crowded and cost more than five times as much. Even the coaches exclusively for women are packed, which is one of the reasons his wife decided to retire early from her government job this year.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 20:51 
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Uttam wrote:
Source: Wall Street Journal


By ERIC BELLMAN
April 19, 2007; Page A1

The result is what may be the world's most dangerous commute....


Pure propagandu.

The IR is 3 times safer than the US rail system

Per this IR white paper (scroll down to para 1.15), the number of fatalities on IR in 2001-2002 was 0.0001 per million passenger km.

Per this article, the number of fatalities on the US rail system in 2002 was 0.05 per 100 million passenger miles or = 0.0003 fatalities per million passenger km.

No one disputes the need for new carriages or better systems for the IR. Better safety is good for all of us. However if that statistic is remarkable it is that the IR with 5-6 times the passengers has a LOWER fatality rate than a 1st world country. That is the remarkable part which should have been emphasized.

This article belongs in the psy-ops thread as a prime example of how figures are ignored or presented in a manner so as to conform to the writers world view.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 21:27 
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Shalav wrote:
Pure propagandu.

The IR is 3 times safer than the US rail system

Per this IR white paper (scroll down to para 1.15), the number of fatalities on IR in 2001-2002 was 0.0001 per million passenger km.

Per this article, the number of fatalities on the US rail system in 2002 was 0.05 per 100 million passenger miles or = 0.0003 fatalities per million passenger km.

No one disputes the need for new carriages or better systems for the IR. Better safety is good for all of us. However if that statistic is remarkable it is that the IR with 5-6 times the passengers has a LOWER fatality rate than a 1st world country. That is the remarkable part which should have been emphasized.

This article belongs in the psy-ops thread as a prime example of how figures are ignored or presented in a manner so as to conform to the writers world view.


Shalav.. Sometimes one does have to face reality head on than run away from it. I have never lived in Bombay or even visited.. My only experience of it being flying into Bombay airport and be driven via the slums from the domestic to international airport..

However, I am quite familiar with the suburban train scene in Madras.. I am sure that the carriages and coaches and the general level of upkeep cannot be much different.. and in fact, given Bombay's traffic I can wager that it will be many times worse in terms of garbage /litter and general cleaniness and upkeep.

Traveling in Madras in that heat in the suburban trains was painful enough.. Imagine if it was 5 times more crowded like in Mumbai.

Now comparing Mumbai suburban train services to LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) which runs more trains than even Amtrak itself or even to MTA, the NYC subway system is not too far off the mark. After all Mumbai has pretensions of becoming a financial center and all that.

Like I said I dont know about Mumbia , but LIRR and Chennai I know well and there is a world of difference between LIRR and Chennai suburban services.. LIRR's is more comfortable and less crowded.. Chennais is far more frequent and next to no creature comforts.. Of course the population density has something to do with the schedules.. but I am sure that creature comforts wise, a lot of people will be willing to pay more for better creature comforts and airconditioning in suburban and other rail services in India.

It is only in the public sector babu / netaji mind, airconditioning (just like telephones and airlines were until recently) a "luxury" for the rich which needed to be taxed, milked and controlled (however, to be be enjoyed as a perk and previlege by the NBJP class) , while doling out "welfare" via artificial fares to the "masses" ..

About safety, I am hard pressed to bevlie the IR statistics.. The US system is technologically far more advanced and has far fewer people riding.. On a fatality basis, the US system should in any day have far fewer incidents..


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 21:43 
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vina wrote:

However, I am quite familiar with the suburban train scene in Madras.. I am sure that the carriages and coaches and the general level of upkeep cannot be much different.. and in fact, given Bombay's traffic I can wager that it will be many times worse in terms of garbage /litter and general cleaniness and upkeep.


No one disputes that - read my post again again.

The point was safety. With 6 million passengers a day on the Mumbai locals I would bet their safety record is also comparable to any other commuter system in the world. I don't have numbers per million passenger km, but if you disagree all you have to do is present the same comparison with another comparable city rail commuter system citing sources.

Quote:
About safety, I am hard pressed to bevlie the IR statistics.. The US system is technologically far more advanced and has far fewer people riding.. On a fatality basis, the US system should in any day have far fewer incidents..


Why? Are you implying the IR lied in a white paper? The fact is both figures are generated from government agency statistics.

The IR carries 14 million passengers per day. It says its fatality rate in 2001-2002 was 0.0001 fatalities per million km. The NTSB states that there were 0.0003 fatalities per million km on the US rail system. Why is the NTSB believable and the IR not in your opinion?

I find it incredible that someone would believe some hack with an agenda just because its in the WSJ.

The guy wanted to sell a column - you tell me whats easier to sell to the WSJ?

An article stating India is rubbish with just enough numbers.

OR

An article stating India is doing better than the US as far as rail fatalities are concerned.

99% of the time WSJ will pick the "India is crap" article. Writers know this and they cater to their customer! Just because its on the WSJ doesn't mean it's presenting the entire or even a correct picture.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 22:48 
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Shalav wrote:
Quote:
About safety, I am hard pressed to bevlie the IR statistics.. The US system is technologically far more advanced and has far fewer people riding.. On a fatality basis, the US system should in any day have far fewer incidents..


Why? Are you implying the IR lied in a white paper? The fact is both figures are generated from government agency statistics.

The IR carries 14 million passengers per day. It says its fatality rate in 2001-2002 was 0.0001 fatalities per million km. The NTSB states that there were 0.0003 fatalities per million km on the US rail system. Why is the NTSB believable and the IR not in your opinion?


Leave out the WSJ hack for a moment.. I cannot recall fatalities and accidents in the US of the kind you hear on a regular basis (wasnt there one recently when a bridge collapsed on a train or something) where there are 200 to 300 people killed .. Yeah IR carries a lot more people than the US railway system (where people typically fly or drive lot more) so on a passenger-mile basis the statistics plays out.. But on absolute number terms IR's will be far higher..

Yeah. I do agree that given its size complexity and level of investment in safety and technology, Indian Railway's safety is quite good and mathematically, you are probably more likely to get killed in rail in the US than in India..

However, the actual experience (comfort wise) and confidence wise (technology and safety culture wise.. closed doors vs people hanging out, no smoking, chai wallas with heaters etc), you do have to accept that IR lags behind. That is why I am inclined to believe that there is a chance that you might not be doing an apple to apple comparison between the two systems when you quote the statistics , unless of course you are confident that the definition of accidents is the same in both the cases.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2007 23:04 
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FI, Between 8 to 10 People die each day in rail related mishaps (3,000 each year)in the Bombay suburban section.


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There are a whole lot of people that die in us in rail related accidents but almost all of them are due to Train car/pedestrian accidents on unmanned/ungated crossings. The US number will surprise a lot of people and it is used as metaphor for justifying war deaths etc.

So in a nut shell Shalav is right about IR but comparing Mumbai suburban system with any other metro system worldwide will almost certainly show that Mumbai commuting is worst/unsafest in the world simply because of the load/km in Mumbai.


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vina wrote:
... That is why I am inclined to believe that there is a chance that you might not be doing an apple to apple comparison between the two systems when you quote the statistics , unless of course you are confident that the definition of accidents is the same in both the cases.


Why not? Why do you have this urge to prove IR's death rate is worse than the US rail systems fatality rate in spite of hard verifiable data?

As regards definition. You tell me whats the difference between 0.0001 deaths per million passenger km and 0.0003 fatalities per million passenger km. As far as I can see the only difference is 0.0001 versus 0.0003. It is an apple to apple comparison! If you think its not, show me why. Your feelings, opinions and hearsay do not count. HARD NUMBERS ONLY PLEASE!!!

Mumbai by itself is probably more dangerous than the IR systems as a whole in my opinion too. But before I jump on the bandwagon and label it as the "worst in the world" I would really like to see some comparisons with a few comparable metro transport systems.


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Quote:
But on absolute number terms IR's will be far higher..


What the hell? Absolute numbers are now suddenly the best way to jude something? Wow. It's proportion, ratio (which kind is another matter altogether) but it's always better than absolute numbers. What next, India's middle class is bigger than anyone else in the world and we have more millionaire's and billionaire's than a lot of people. Have you seen the kind of lifestyle some people have in India, amazing, so lavish. You know what I don't care about this proportion vortion, in absolute numbers we have more middle class than anyone in the world and more rich people than a lot of countries in the world and hence nobody should call us poor, we are better than them onlee, THe US is pathetic compared to us :roll:

Quote:
an apple to apple comparison between the two systems when you quote the statistics , unless of course you are confident that the definition of accidents is the same in both the cases.

Now I don't know about you, but from my experience so far in this world, the definition of death or fatality seems to be the same everywhere. A person is either dead or not dead. And I don't mean the clinicaly or medical dead type problem where someone is revived, I mean these statistics refer to people who aren't getting up again ever! :roll:

The rest of arguments are extremely subjective and based on image. Whatever feeling you might get, numbers are numbers and this "feeling" cannot be held in higher regard. :roll:


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2007 04:51 
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Quote:
Pure propagandu.

The IR is 3 times safer than the US rail system

Per this IR white paper (scroll down to para 1.15), the number of fatalities on IR in 2001-2002 was 0.0001 per million passenger km.

Per this article, the number of fatalities on the US rail system in 2002 was 0.05 per 100 million passenger miles or = 0.0003 fatalities per million passenger km.

No one disputes the need for new carriages or better systems for the IR. Better safety is good for all of us. However if that statistic is remarkable it is that the IR with 5-6 times the passengers has a LOWER fatality rate than a 1st world country. That is the remarkable part which should have been emphasized.

This article belongs in the psy-ops thread as a prime example of how figures are ignored or presented in a manner so as to conform to the writers world view.


There shouldnt be any comparison of IR with any other country like US or EU.When it comes to public transport the major factor that needs to be considered is population of that city and country.

Number of people boarding any train or other kind of public transport in India at any given time would be much higher then any western country.

This implies that the design of compartments and railway coaches is going to be drastically different. For eg: Cant expect closed doors for safety of passengers. Rather would like to compare India and China with massive population.

Priority should be spacious carriages with more number of seats, faster and tidy trains.


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Shalav wrote:
As regards definition. You tell me whats the difference between 0.0001 deaths per million passenger km and 0.0003 fatalities per million passenger km. As far as I can see the only difference is 0.0001 versus 0.0003. It is an apple to apple comparison! If you think its not, show me why. Your feelings, opinions and hearsay do not count. HARD NUMBERS ONLY PLEASE!!!


No.. No.. I mean you should drill down deeper in the definition.. For eg, in a railway crossing, if train hits vehicle and 10 people die, will it/ wont it show up as a fatality in IR as train /safety related ..similary will it/wont it ? ..
How about platform accidents ? The sense I get is that if you consider just "pure rail" like derailment, collisions, bridge collapses, etc.. IR's death count will be far higher than the US ,even on a proportional basis.

The NTSB as the "overall body" for transportation I think will club all rail related fatality incidents into that number.. IR being different can put only "pure rail" accident fatality only in that.


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gauravsurati wrote:
There shouldnt be any comparison of IR with any other country like US or EU.When it comes to public transport the major factor that needs to be considered is population of that city and country.

Number of people boarding any train or other kind of public transport in India at any given time would be much higher then any western country.



No.. it wont for the simple reason, India has massively underinvested in transport of all sorts , so the per capita availability is far less in India.

Notice however that these differences exist in a wide scale in India as well.. For eg, next to no one takes trains for short distance (less than 200km) travel in the south., especially TN. They take the bus. Thanks to dravidian parties and pre-existing folks like TVS group and other private operators, which set the standard, buses are frequent, convenient and friendly in TN. As a teenager when I first visited North India, especially Bihar, I saw the state of buses there (just to metal plates welded together for seats, vs cushions & "video" coaches in TN) and people traveling on roof tops of buses which nearly impossible to see in TN and much of the south..

That difference is due to difference in investments. The IR is like the Bihar bus system I am refering to (especially in North/UP/Bihar, while in the south it is well more like the south) , and the Bihar railway minster , going by the Bihar model wants to pack more people into the trains (like buses)..rather than actually investing and doing something fundamentally different.


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It is no surprise to me that _South_ Central Railway has been a longtime
winner of best railway zone. Vijaywada was(is?) busiest junction for express
trains in India with ~150 a decade ago. It was a brilliant showpiece even then
with huge sparkling clean wide platforms, ample waiting rooms, paid toilets,
tight ticket checking, good food in the canteen....huge nos of people from telengana, andhra and rayalaseema sides funneled through vijaywada but
one never felt the sense of grime, despair and decrepit atmosphere thats
the hallmark of howrah, nai dilli.....
Chennai central is super busy at night with yet these is some 'rule of law' and order and one doesnt feel the unruly nature of northern stations.


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aaah south central railways have the most honest ticket colletors IMO. All those people travelling from Bihar, Kolkatta towards AP buy tickets if their journey goes beyond Vizag. Reason? They can't bribe or threaten the TC's 8)

Once I was going to tirupathi on Venkatadri and it reached renigunta (50 km from Tirupathi) at 8.00 in the morning. This 15 member Bihari (or UP) family on their first South India trip got into the second class reserved compartment without a reservation thinking its only 50 KM. As soon as the train started to move the TC got in and caught them and fined 50Rs/head :eek: . That was 750 Rs just for 50 KM. The head of the family tried to bribe his way out by offering the TC 300 Rs. The TC was furious and gave him a big lecture, reminded him that it is AP not UP and then fined him 750 :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2007 11:24 
Singha wrote:
It is no surprise to me that _South_ Central Railway has been a longtime
winner of best railway zone. Vijaywada was(is?) busiest junction for express
trains in India with ~150 a decade ago. It was a brilliant showpiece even then
with huge sparkling clean wide platforms, ample waiting rooms, paid toilets,
tight ticket checking, good food in the canteen....huge nos of people from telengana, andhra and rayalaseema sides funneled through vijaywada but
one never felt the sense of grime, despair and decrepit atmosphere thats
the hallmark of howrah, nai dilli.....
Chennai central is super busy at night with yet these is some 'rule of law' and order and one doesnt feel the unruly nature of northern stations.


kyon dilli ke peeche pada hua hain bhai ... hain ?

dilli has to cater to the disproportionate numbers of unwashed of Bihar/UP and it is reflected on the platforms.

I found the platforms that have trains leaving for Punjab/Haryana/Jammu on the other hand are clean around 15 yrs ago when I used to use railways services.

As far as Andhra is concerned, I guess you can adopt the 'don't see don't exist' attitude. I was never particularly enamoured of Andhra railway stations. They used to have a peculiar odor.


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2007 13:27 
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Quote:
India has massively underinvested in transport of all sorts , so the per capita availability is far less in India.


Vina, to good extend I agree with you. The reason why we find this sort of underinvestment in public services is due to wrong approach and inaccurate long term calculations.

I often see when it comes down to public transportation and services westerners follow rationalised and pragmatic method. i.e. number of trains would be required for this many people, in accoradance with their budget.

For eg: I have read news that Brits are implementing a device on their tube trains that would help them to justify number of people on board (by weight of carriage) during peak hours which will help authorities to put more number of trains on track.

Probably, IR needs to use same stratergy but needs to be implemented in such a way that it serves needs of India in accordance to our budget.


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vina wrote:
gauravsurati wrote:
There shouldnt be any comparison of IR with any other country like US or EU.When it comes to public transport the major factor that needs to be considered is population of that city and country.

Number of people boarding any train or other kind of public transport in India at any given time would be much higher then any western country.



No.. it wont for the simple reason, India has massively underinvested in transport of all sorts , so the per capita availability is far less in India.

Notice however that these differences exist in a wide scale in India as well.. For eg, next to no one takes trains for short distance (less than 200km) travel in the south., especially TN. They take the bus. Thanks to dravidian parties and pre-existing folks like TVS group and other private operators, which set the standard, buses are frequent, convenient and friendly in TN. As a teenager when I first visited North India, especially Bihar, I saw the state of buses there (just to metal plates welded together for seats, vs cushions & "video" coaches in TN) and people traveling on roof tops of buses which nearly impossible to see in TN and much of the south..

That difference is due to difference in investments. The IR is like the Bihar bus system I am refering to (especially in North/UP/Bihar, while in the south it is well more like the south) , and the Bihar railway minster , going by the Bihar model wants to pack more people into the trains (like buses)..rather than actually investing and doing something fundamentally different.


What's wrong with few brave-hearts taking fun ride. :P I did this manytimes. One has to try to enjoy it. It worked like this.....you go and stand next to the bus, chating with friends as if in no hurry. You hear the whistle but still ignore it ( a sort of machoism in Jatland)....till the bus start moving.....now it is the right time to climb-on and enjoy "cool wind in the hair" :). Bus driver knows about it, and says nothing ( a bit proud instead)...while Tau sitting naxt say "Boys will be boys".


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Try that next time to come to chennai , unless you are from one of 'those' colleges , the driver will take this opportunity to use the finest words he can think of


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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2007 14:16 
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Not really IR related but...

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indi ... 937492.cms

KUALA LUMPUR: State-owned Indian construction company IRCON will help Malaysia revive a multibillion-dollar rail project that had been shelved in 2003 due to its high cost, Malaysia's transport minister said on Saturday, according to a report.

IRCON, which was previously involved in the project, will participate in the construction of a double-track line between the towns of Seremban and Gemas in southern Malaysia, transport minister Chan Kong Choy was quoted as saying by the national news agency Bernama.

Chan did not elaborate on details of the financial cost or length of the rail track. Officials at chan's office were not available to comment on the report.

The Seremban-Gemas stretch forms part of what had been conceived as Malaysia's largest-ever infrastructure project, comprising a 320-kilometre electrified line between the towns of Ipoh and Padang Besar in northern Malaysia and a 310-kilometre line between Seremban and Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia.

The entire project -- previously estimated to cost 14.45 billion ringgit (usd 3.8 billion) -- was put aside in late 2003 after prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over from former leader Mahathir Mohamad, who had approved it.

The Malaysian government announced last month it was reviving the project, and that the northern link would be implemented by local private construction companies MMC and Gamuda.

Deputy prime minister Najib Razak said recently that Malaysia had sent a letter of intent to India to participate in the southern line, and India was expected to appoint a qualified company.


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Some more on the Lalu's revenue maximization schemes....

Rlys will add a third aisle berth to AC, sleeper bogies

NEW DELHI: Railway minister Lalu Prasad's 'farmaan' to raise revenue by increasing the number of berths in AC-3 and sleeper coaches has not only compounded the problems of railway designers, but also promises to add to the woes of passengers as more people will now have to adjust in the same space.

The AC-3 and sleeper coaches are being redesigned in Kapurthala coach factory to add a third side berth, where only two exist at the moment.

Once redesigned, AC-3 coaches will have 72 berths, up from the present 64, while sleeper coaches will have 81 berths, up from 72.

The main problem facing railway designers is where to fit the third passenger during the day. The second is that the height of the coaches would have to be raised to adjust the third berth. This has been questioned by the Commissioner, Railway Safety.

To avoid objections from the safety commissioner, and yet keep the minister and his advisors happy, railway designers are trying to squeeze in a third berth between the two side berths.

Using their indigenous technology, they have made the middle berth foldable so that during the day, the sitting passengers don't bang their heads against it.

"The middle berth folds up and sticks to the bottom of the upper berth,"said a railway officer gleefully.

But where does the third side passenger sit during the day? The officer said that the three-plus-three passengers in the cabin will have to adjust this passenger.

When told that this could lead to disputes among passengers, the officer said, "We will put a seat number which will compel them to adjust."But would this not amount to discrimination? The officer said that in any case, passengers had to adjust with each other during the day.


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Railway plans triple stack containers

Quote:
NEW DELHI: After the success of double stack containers, Railways are now planning triple stack containers and a pilot project is expected to be launched shortly either in Delhi or at Pune to find out its feasibility.

"Double stack containers are successful. We are now thinking triple stack containers but only for carrying automobiles. We are planning a pilot project in this regard, likely in Delhi or Pune," said V N Mathur, Railway Board Member (Traffic).

The Railways is currently in the process of designing the containers to be used for triple stack, he said.

Delhi and Pune are the best centres for launching pilot projects for the triple stack considering the fact that they have automobiles production units like Maruti and Auto Bajaj.

Double stack containers were launched early last year near Jaipur by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who had then announced entry of private players in container operation which attracted 14 major players bidding for the scheme.

Mathur also announced that the triple stack containers will be launched at the Western Corridor Sector, which will be mainly diesel run.

"Western corridor will be mainly a diesel run, while the Eastern sector wholly electrical.....Keeping in view the height of double stack containers, we will be running such containers in the diesel sector and not electrical in view of live wire. It will remain same when we run the triple stack containers also," he said.

Asked about the progress made in the execution of Western and Eastern Dedicated Corridors, Mathur said RITES has prepared a comprehensive report on them and "feet-by-feet" survey is on for the two corridors (2,800 kms) which is expected to be completed by this year end.

He said acquisition of land, a major portion of which is already with Railways, has been done but the substantial part of the work was yet to be completed.

A Special Purpose Vehicle has already been set up and a Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary has been appointed to appoint a Managing Director of the SPV to execute the multi-billion dollar project, he said.

Besides, he said JICA, the Japanese agency which has offered funding of the corridor project, is conducting studies on the project, and its 18-month survey was likely to be completed by year end.

The Indian Railways has been negotiating with the Japanese Transport and Finance Ministries for a loan of Rs 22,000 crore, especially for the Western and Eastern Corridors already cleared by the Cabinet

The loan - yet to be approved by the Japanese government - is understood to have 30-40 year repayment schedule and four per cent interest rate," Ministry sources said.

However, sources indicated that a final decision in this regard was likely to be taken when Japanese Prime Minister visits India later this year. In his earlier visit to India two years ago, the Japan had offered financial and technical cooperation for the project.


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2007 22:27 
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Good response to Janata Meal at Erode railway station

Quote:
R. Sundaram

It contains seven pooris, fried potato and pickle for Rs. 10

Image
QUALITY FOOD: Janata Meal is packed in hygienic boxes at the Erode railway station canteen. - Photo: M. Govarthan

ERODE: "I and my wife had good food for just Rs. 20," said Srijith of Kochi, after taking the Janata Meal at the railway canteen at the Erode railway station. It was tasty and neatly packed, he said while waiting for the Kerala-bound express train.

The railway canteen run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has been selling the Janata Meal from April 14.

With a view to providing `quality food at cheaper rate', the Indian Railway is selling the meal at Rs. 10, containing seven pooris (175 g), fried potato (150 g) and a pickle pouch.

Demand up

In the beginning, only 10 packets were sold.

But, now the demand for the meal is on the rise.

Officials in-charge of the Corporation in Erode said every day a minimum of 60 packets of Janata Meal were being sold in the forenoon. With the demand increasing, they had decided to sell the meal in the evening too.

Now the Janata Meal packets are sold between 10.30 a.m. and 12 noon, but within half-an-hour all the 60 packets are sold.

The officials said the meal was prepared hygienically and also packed carefully and cleanly.

Only one person is deputed to pack the products.

When the scheme was introduced, the meal was given in polythene bag. Now, after putting the meal in a polythene pack, it was boxed and sold.

IRCTC officials said that they were not encouraging bulk sale, but were giving a maximum of two packets to a person.

It is stated that because of the subsidised rate of sale, IRCTC is incurring a loss of Rs. 15 for a packet, as usually seven pooris and the fry are sold at Rs. 25.

Passengers are with the meal and wish that the railways had provded it at a subsidised rate of Rs. 15.


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