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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 22 July 2024 7.18 PM IST

'Central govt committing major mistake...'; Vande Bharat 'architect' Sudhanshu Mani opens up

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CHENNAI: Former railway official Sudhanshu Mani, the architect behind the Vande Bharat Express has now pointed fingers at the central government for their unnecessary focus on the Vande Bharat trains in India.

He stated that in the last few years, the Ministry of Railways and the Central Government have given undue importance to premium trains like Vande Bharat Express while giving no eye to the concerns of the common passengers who could not afford AC travel.

Sudhanshu Mani was a former officer who worked as General Manager of Chennai Integral Coach Factory from August 2016 to December 2018. Mani showered high praise on the Vande Bharat trains which he said was best fit for the elite class in India. At the same time, he also cast doubts about the plight of the common train passengers in India.

“The common passengers also have dignity. It should be pertinent for the government to make necessary arrangements for their travel.”

Recently, footage and pictures of common passengers travelling in AC trains and sleeper coaches have created an uproar in social media. Criticisms were raised when some passengers who took general tickets decided to board the Vande Bharat in Uttar Pradesh. A similar case was also reported when some passengers with general tickets entered the AC and sleeper compartments of the Nethravathi Express which ended in a scuffle.

It has also been alleged that the Railways, which have undertaken the task of improving infrastructure and redeveloping stations, are not doing enough for those travelling in unreserved coaches.

“Earlier, migrant workers from some states, especially Bihar, Odisha and UP, or students travelling for exams used to board reserved compartments without tickets. I have seen many videos and I believe the situation is worse today than before. Now railways are giving more importance to the manufacturing of AC coaches.” Sudhanshu Mani said that the production of non-AC coaches is gradually being reduced.

"The number of sleeper coaches and general coaches has decreased with railways focusing on AC coaches. So where will those passengers go? This is due to the scant availability of general compartments that these people invade the sleeper and AC compartments without buying tickets.

Vande Bharat is getting great appreciation from every side. It is great but why keep a blind eye on the needs of commoners? They also need to travel. Even the opposition raised the issue during the elections. The central government should immediately do a course correction and start making more non-AC compartments than AC ones”, said Sudhanshu.

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TAGS: SUDHANSHU MANI, INDIA, TRAIN, ACCIDENTS, CONCERN, CHENNAI, UTTAR PRADESH, COMMONERS
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