As we were trying to get the cheapest tickets on the cheapest budget airlines to go to the farthest place from our work stations, there was Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav unveiling his fifth Railway Budget in Parliament. Now that we know the Indian Railways has made a whopping Rs 25,000 crore profit this year, Mr Yadav will surely present his strategies before graduates at the Harvard Business School. We also got to know that all trains and stations will very soon have ‘green toilets’ that will urge us to not only buy platform tickets but train tickets as well. But Mr Yadav’s penchant for being drop dead serious not only impressed us, but actually made us forego the cheapest ticket on the cheapest airline.
For among the many other things the Minister said was that in two years, there will no longer be train ticket queues. That may bring grief to hundreds of thousands of Indians whose livelihoods as touts will be grievously threatened. But Indian Railway back offices will indeed warm the cockles of the hearts of the rest of us. Mr Yadav also made us sit up when he mentioned that he will make ‘world class stations’ of the New Delhi Railway Station, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Station in Mumbai and Patna station.
Which has made us decide to take a train to Patna as soon as we’re done with this editorial. Not only will we get ‘world class’ settings to visit, but we won’t have to deal with the rubbish of arriving an hour ahead of flying and grapple with delays, cancellations and bad food. Hurrah!