mid-day editorial: Netas, please be cool about the AC train
This Christmas brought the advent of the city's first air-conditioned local train; a new milestone for Mumbai's transport network
This Christmas brought the advent of the city's first air-conditioned local train; a new milestone for Mumbai's transport network. Even as the train made an exciting and adrenalin-filled debut, there was plenty of chatter from commuters who were assessing its pros and cons.
The loudest cheerleaders were not the people who will use the service, but the politicians who were quick to give credit to the ruling party for true 'vikaas'. The ruling party's ally, which sounds more like an enemy than an ally at most times, deflected the praise and said it was all due to railway officials.
We wish all our netas steered clear of such shenanigans whenever the city gets a new piece of infrastructure. We certainly do not want to take away credit from where it is due, but it is time to stop these infantile charges and counter-charges.
The leaders who have the good of the people at heart, must now look at the larger picture. Do ensure that these air-conditioned locals run well, that they are on time and fit into the city's scheduling. Check the fare and whether they can be lowered and made accessible to more people. Over the next few days, it would be worth their while to keep a close watch on the safety aspect of these trains, especially for women.
Meanwhile, they must also use their clout and funds to upgrade platform facilities for the people. Try to see that the mandatory medical ambulance has access to the station. Make the shops on the platform fire safety-compliant. See that the foot overbridges serve the public.
When it comes to the railways, there are a great many things that are to be done. Wasting time and words on self-congratulations, or taking away credit and pointing fingers, achieves little. Do the work that counts and gets results.