Suresh Prabhu The Man Transforming Indian Railways!

Probably there was no hope among people. But not anymore. Mahanama express, Gatimaan express and many more expresses and quick redressal of grievances of passengers, even providing medical care mid of the night has shown that even public sector organizations too can deliver. Indian Railways is one of the largest employer in the country and has increased its efficiency manifold.
For some, it might appear to be fanciful and some may not believe that such things will be available in India. But as per the sources, something big is expected. Many will be surprised to know that Indian Railways is providing these things!
The AC three tier coaches will come with a new package in upcoming 4 new trains including Humsafar express which would be running between Delhi and Gorakhpur with all 3 tier coaches and may be in almost all new trains! The passengers will have coffee and tea machines in their compartments. So, one can have tea or coffee even when the chai or coffee seller is not available. However, this will not make the vendors unemployed. Because large chunk of people do not like machine coffee or tea even though it can give a temporary relief.
Security in railways has been one of the major concerns of the passengers. CCTVs will be installed in aisles of each compartment. Though not a foolproof system, it will definitely increase security in the trains to significant level. The fire and smoke detectors will provide added security.
Passengers often do not get to know where the train is and how far it is to reach the destination and so on. Indian Railways has addressed this concern too in the new coaches. GPS-based passenger information system will be installed, so that passengers can have better idea about the location of the train without any difficulty.
The color schemes of the trains have been mostly same since quite long time. The Rail Coach Factory of Bareilli has come up with new interior and exterior colour schemes which will give feel – home feeling to the passengers. The numbers indicating upper, lower and middle berths with a light bar similar to the ones used in airlines will give a unique experience. Curtains for side births and in the aisles will give privacy too for the passengers.
Another major problem that is faced by the passengers with their berths in the corners of the coaches is bad smell from the washrooms. Though it is not so much in AC 3 tier coaches as they have doors at the ends, certainly some kind of unpleasant experience will have to be faced. The new coaches will have automatic room-freshener dispensers. So travelling even those berths would be a comfortable one.
Often we get to see unpleasant texts written in the washrooms in the trains. Railways has come up with an answer for that too. They are introducing New gel-coated toilet walls to save the toilets from unwanted graffiti. In a way, Indian Railways is giving a message that if people can’t improve their behaviour, then we have to change it forcefully.
Another often heard complaint about Indian Railways is that it is not differently abled friendly. With integrated Braille displays, coaches have been modified to cater the needs of the differently abled people.
Many more modification will definitely be needed. There is no limit for improvisation. However, whatever has been made are significant ones and are addressing commonly faced problems by the passengers. Modifying railways this way along with increasing operational efficiency will definitely enhance the productivity of Indian railways as it would definitely attract more number of passengers.
However, the onus to keep the standard of trains high lies on passengers too. The pictures of Mahanama express after few days of its inauguration was disheartening and was a clear reflection of Indian mindset. Unless people keep it clean and use the facilities provided by the Railways in appropriate manner, we cannot see a paradigm shift in the Indian Railways.

Akshara Damle
You can reach the author on twitter @aksharadamle