Indian Railway, also abbreviated as IR, is a national transportation system connecting different parts of India through a rail network. It holds the 4th rank in the list of largest Rail Networks of the world. Also, the Indian Railway is a source of major income of the Government of India. It is the largest mode of transport in India preferred by Indians. It connects the destinations of long distances and is quite comfortable. Although Airways are the fastest way to connect the long-distance because of their costly fairs, people prefer to travel by Train. Indian Government has monopoly control over Indian Railway.
History of Indian Railway
Although the concept of Train in India came very early and they were mainly used to carry goods for construction purposes only, the first passenger train in India ran on 16th April 1853 between Bori-Bunder (Bombay) to Thane.
It had carried approx 400 people. Similarly, the first Train of Eastern India ran on 15th August 1854 between Howrah to Hooghly.
The first 3 zones of Indian Railways were Southern, Central and Western Zones introduced in 1951. India got its first fully AC Train in 1956 between Howrah and Delhi.
The website of Indian Railway was launched in 2000 and consequently, Indian Railway launched an online ticketing and reservation system in 2002.
Employment in Indian Railway
Undoubtedly the Indian Railway is the world’s 8th largest employer. It has approximately 1.3 Million employees. The employees in Indian Railway are divided into four groups as A, B, C and D. The employees on groups A and B are called gazetted while in groups C and D are called non-gazetted.
The employee in group A is recruited by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Civil Services Examinations. The candidates qualifying this examination are eligible to be employed on Group a post.
The employees in Group B are not recruited directly by any examination or other process but the Group C employees are promoted to group B posts through departmental exams.
The employees in group C are recruited by various recruitment examinations conducted by RRB (Railway Recruitment Board) and group D is recruited by the examinations conducted by RRC (Railway Recruitment Cell).
Along with employment, the Indian Railway also offers housing, sports, hospitals, and other facilities to its employees.
Some Random Facts of Indian Railway
There is a lot to know about Indian Railway. The Indian Railways is decorated with many amazing and interesting facts. It is almost impossible to describe every single achievement of Indian Railways yet we have tried to bring you some important of those. So here they are:
- Indian Railway is the largest Rail Network in Asia.
- The first Railroad in India was constructed by Jaganath Shunkerseth and Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy in 1845.
- Indian Railway has about 8500 Railway Stations in all over India.
- Indian Railway has about 121407 km. of the total route and running tracks in India.
- The Gorakhpur Junction in U.P. has the longest platform in the country, having its length 1366.33 m.
- The slowest train of India is Mettupalayam Ooty Nilgiri Passenger train which runs with a speed of 10 kmph.
- The International Border Train in India is Samjhauta Express.
- The mascot of India Railway is “Bholu” a guard elephant.
- Initially, Indian Railways had no toilet and it continued without toilets for 50 years.
- Indian Railways runs approximately 11000 trains per day.
- Vembanad Rail Bridge of Kerala with a total length of 4.62 km is the longest rail bridge in India.
- The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Indian Mountain Railways are recorded in the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s List.
- Vivek Express from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari traveling a distance of 4273 km. travels the longest distance in India.
Privatization of Indian Railway
Although the Indian Railway serves the best to its extent, yet the authorities have failed to maintain its legacy. There is a lack of necessary amenities and involvement of fraud is a major part of the Indian Railway. To make Indian Railway more qualitative and reliable, the Government is planning to privatize the Indian Railway. Although the Indian Government denies any such actions and has assured that it will remain as it is now.
The privatization of the Indian Railway is not easy. The Railway System covers every part of India and runs for 24×7 hours. Privatization of the Indian Railway is a step with a view to improving the services provided and a better journey experience. The privatization of the Indian Railway will have some good aspects and some bad aspects. I am putting both the aspects in front of you leaving you to judge whether the privatization of the Indian Railway is a good idea or a bad one.
Pros of Privatization of Indian Railway
First, let us discuss some positive aspects of the Privatization of Indian Railways. As it is obvious that the main goal behind the privatization of the Indian Railway makes it better than before so definitely it will have many good aspects. Let’s talk about them in brief.
- The first and the strongest benefit of privatization of Indian Railways will be the better infrastructure and facilities that are not provided now or are being provided but in very poor condition.
- The privatization will bring better maintenance of coaches, engines, and tracks which will help in reducing accidents and undesirable incidents.
- The privatization of the Indian Railway will bring competition and passengers will get optimum facilities in their paid prices which lacks in present.
- The Privatization of Indian Railways will remove some long-lasting problems like Poor sanitation; pickpocketing, insecurity around stations, unruly behavior of railway employees, sanitation problems, food poisoning, inconvenience to passengers, etc.
- Delay in the arrival and departure of trains has become the root problem of the Indian Railway. Privatization has a hope to remove this problem.
- The privatization of the Indian Railway will bring some revolutionary changes in the structure and performance of the Indian Railway.
Cons of Privatization of Indian Railway
The privatization of India Railway is definitely a step to bring some positive changes yet it would have some negative effects too. We cannot avoid those aspects so here are some important points that everyone should know. These are the Cons of Privatization of Indian Railways.
- The Indian Railway is meant for the welfare of citizens until it is in the control of the government. The privatization will make Railway profit-based which will slowly be out of reach of poor Indian Citizens.
- The Indian Railway connects every small and large part of India. Privatization of the Indian Railway will make it inaccessible in less popular areas because it will generate less profit.
- The privatization of the Indian Railway will give a hike in fares because it is obvious that the privatized Railway will focus only on profits.
- Private firms don’t disclose their policies and so it will become impossible to access information about Indian Railway and also it will lack transparency.
- There are some special provisions in Indian Railways for old, handicapped, military freedom fighters, etc. but I am sure that these provisions will be stopped as soon as the Indian Railways becomes privatized.
Indian Railway is the backbone of India. The whole population takes benefit from it. Since it is easily available to everyone and at the lower fair that is why every single citizen of India is connected to the India Railways. Although it has lacks many facilities yet it serves Indians at its best. Is privatization the only solution to these problems? If no then I will suggest no to privatize Indian Railway. Only make some strict rules and Indian Railways will emerge out to be the best Railway Network in the whole world.
Keeping Indian Railway clean and comfortable is not only the responsibility of Government and Railway Ministries but also of every citizen who takes its benefit. All of us should understand our responsibilities and work towards the cleanliness of India Railways.