We are 3 months away from the railway budget and senior railway officials must be at some serious work. The ministry has already asked for suggestion regarding railway budget 2016-17, you can send in your suggestions online through this link.
I have put forward my request as well for the upcoming rail budget and wish it does not goes unheard.
The VIP culture is very prevalent in India. Hence, it swiftly flows into the Indian Railways too. Currently there is an Emergency Quota of 60,000 berths (Approx) a day which is supposed to be utilized for Emergency needs and Official travels of VIPs. However, this facility is not being utilized effectively and in many cases not reaching the citizen who may have a real Emergency at hand and needs to travel.
The so called Emergency Quota/ VIP quota / Head Office Quota, which I call it as Hidden Quota which has no system in place to track, no guideline which defines who falls under these quotas and this creates a potential nexus between agents and some railway officials. Railway Officials are misusing there authority to offer seats to friends and families which many of us must have been a beneficiary too. I had requested for a list of allotment of berths through this quota for a specific date & train through a RTI query (Registration No – DOP&T/R/2013/60889 dated 09.05.2013) which has not been replied to.
Putting forward a case for 12230/Lucknow Mail (New Delhi to Lucknow), this train has 4.5 Second Tier AC Coaches (A1, A2, A3, A4 & HA1). With 46 berths available in one coach this would have 207 (46 X 4.5) berths available for booking, which unfortunately is not the case. Presented below is the quota wise allocation (The figures are approx)
We find that 24.15% seats are reserved for High Officials/VIP/Parliamentarians. Quota culture was perhaps meant for the British Officers to enjoy the privileges. Well, they had to do it, since the need was to rule the whole country with iron hand to suppress any sort of uprising against them, to create an INFERIORITY COMPLEX in the minds of the people by having the VIP tag.
I best way to get away with this wicked rule is to reduce the available number of berths by at least 75% bringing it down to 15,000 a day. I would rather suggest scrapping this quota completely for Sleeper Class. After all which VIP travels in Sleeper Class? Few more things could be proposed, like
Having transparent system for such allocation, a clear guideline defining emergency & VIP.
Moreover, Only VIPs and Railway officials should have access to this quota for themselves and for official journeys only & Usage should be limited to a certain number of times & proper record should be maintained.
Dear Railway Minister & Officials of the Railway Board, Let’s start making Indian Railways more transparent than ever before.