Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Praise be to Lalu

Any amount of praise is less for this person. I'm totally stunned! About a year back, I completely detested Lalu Prasad Yadav for what he'd done to Bihar. It was surprising to see that someone could be so corrupt; but now I'm all praise for him. From being the world's worst chief minister he's transformed to world's best railway minister! Isn't that incredulous?!?! That is a big transformation! Not that I'm complaining, I'm happy as long as what he's doing doesn't have anything hanky-panky behind it.

Talking about his laurels, he surfaced up the railways from crores of loss to crores of profit, started the "Garib Rath", and now the "Janta Meal". He's implemented some very innovative policies which would benefit the consumer as well as the Railways: a win-win situation. What makes me particularly happy is his efforts to smoothen the ride for the masses of India. It's easy to add technological conveniences at a high price but it's very difficult to cut the cost and at the same time provide amenities. We can aim to be a developed nation only if we bring up the standard of living in our country and it's not uplifted by having a 10% of the population live in nice luxury apartments but yes we do move a step forward when we can say that all our trains are clean, safe, air-conditioned, punctual and provide meals - all at a very affordable price.

A while back I was reading about various innovations that he's done: he has asked that the new coaches be manufactured such that the seat widths are shorter by 1-2 inch. This would be hardly perceptible by the consumer but it would enable adding some extra seats to the coach hence bringing down the fare. He got the linen room removed, again to get some extra seats. I think these are specifically for the Garib Rath so others needn't complain about the inconvenience to carry your own bedding. Even if it was applicable to all trains in general, I think it's a good idea as it makes AC class affordable to a lot of people. Those who don't want to carry their own bedding still have the option of more expensive classes. I'd also read somewhere that he's planning to build budget hotels in the vicinity of railway stations and restaurants inside railway stations. Way to go Indian Railways!

I hope other ministers would follow Lalu's example.


Prajakta said...

I actually happened to see Lalu's Railway Budget speech and it was so much of fun! He has really done wonders to Indian Railways and was very firm on highlighting all his achievements despite of all the noise that other ministers were making the other day...

Smriti said...

@Prajakta, I'm sure the other ministers must be jealous of all the attention that he's getting - what with getting calls from Harvard, etc.