Harish Jharia

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28 February 2013

Overambitious Indian Rail Budget proposes Super Luxury ‘Anubhuti’ Class in Indian trains For Free Rides to Ministers and Senior Officers

India needs more trains rather than super luxury classes...

© Harish Jharia

In the recent railway budget 2013, the Indian railway minister has introduced a super luxury class titled ‘Anubhuti’ class for Indian trains. ‘Anubhuti’ class will have the ambiance and luxuries like any 5 star hotels. Its ticket / fare are proposed to be one-and-a-half times that of the AC 1st class in Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains. The current AC 1st class fare is already more than the ticket / fare of airlines flights. Therefore, the fare of this super luxury class is going to be far more than the charges required to be paid for flights on airlines. 

This unbelievably overambitious budget proposal has raised many doubts about the intentions of the government. Let us discuss them point by point as follows:
  1. It is not understood why this project has been added with the budget proposals. In fact, decision has already been taken to install manufacturing facilities in Rae Bareli. A prototype has also been made and displayed. Budget proposal is only eyewash. 
  2. Delhi to Mumbai Airline’s flight fare and Train’s AC 1st Class fare is about Rs 4000/- and the proposed fare of the Indian Railway’s super luxury class ‘Anubhuti’ is expected to cost about Rs 6000/-. How very funny…! This is a train fare in a country like India that has been listed as one of the poorest countries in the world. How the government is going to help the more than 80% of the Indian poor population with ‘Anubhuti’.  
  3. The manufacturing facilities and infrastructure is proposed to be developed in Rae Bareli, the most favorite place for Congress party. It would be relevant to mention here that Rae Bareli is the constituency represented by Sonia Gandhi. Rae Barely is being promoted as It has been the constituency for Feroze Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, and Sonia Gandhi also. 
  4. Introduction of ‘Anubhuti’ class has proved that class discrimination is obviously present in India. Where the Trains in British India had four classes: first class, second class, intermediate class and third class; the Indian government has introduced six classes in Indian trains. They are Anubhooti (Super Luxury) class, AC First Class, AC Second Class, AC Third Class, Sleeper Class and General Class. Is India a democracy or apartheid? 
  5. Even the upper middle class Indians will not be able to afford the super luxury class Anubhuti. This extravagant luxury will be enjoyed by the ministers, MPs. MLAs and senior bureaucrats who are provided with free passes. Therefore,  the introduction of the super luxury Anubhuti class is going to increase government’s expenditure manifold. 
  6. The Indian government and the Indian Railways should improve upon the quality, facilities and services in the existing classes in the trains rather than introducing the 6th class in the trains. 
  7. India needs additional 100 odd new trains for addressing the ongoing problems faced by the Indian passengers, rather than going for super luxury class in a super starving country like India. 
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