Even as the country awaits another railway budget, the office-bearers of Mission Aagaaz, an NGO dedicated to the cause of environment and other social concerns, have written to railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, listing public's expectations from him.
"People wonder why the Indian Railways is running in losses year after year. They feel that Indian railways is not earning up to its potential," the letter reads, which was signed by NGO's project adviser AL Adlakha, director Deepak Babbar and general secretary Gurbhej Singh.
"Public expects better facilities, especially cleanliness, in coaches and at platforms," Adlakha said. He said there was need to plant saplings along the railway tracks. "quality food is another thing on people's mind. They do not mind paying a bit extra for healthy and hygienic food," Babbar said. He said that the practice of defecation along the railway tracks needs to be done away with. "The practice lowers our image in the eyes of foreigners. A strict law is required to end this menace," he said.
Gurbhej Singh said that the railways should make use of its immovable assets to the optimum level. "Every inch of railway land should be freed of encroachments," he said.
The office-bearers said that over the years there had been little progress in Punjab as far as railway network in concerned. They sought to speed up the work on Ludhiana-Chandigarh rail line and extension of Amritsar-Chandigarh train up to Kalka.