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Indian Railways: Where commuters can travel on train roofs
The sight of fearless travellers hanging on the top of trains has become one of permanent images of India and compels us to think that is the country really developing.

AFTER MORE than six decades of independence, condition of trains in India are still in a pathetic state. Even today, people travel on the roof knowing that it is a punishable offense. One question that originates here is, do we people really care? Thousands are killed on India’s train network every year due to recklessness. For pilgrims travelling on the roof is a blessing in disguise whenever there is any festival.
This is exemplified by the Jodhpur railway network. Numerous people can be seen thronging the Ramdevra Mela 2011 and free travel being a common phenomenon in India, the issue gets highlighted when people, mostly villagers, travel on the roof of the trains. Earlier, the roofs wree infested only by the men folk, but now people from the fairer sex too have followed suit without any fear. It is highly shocking that the railway authorities are ignoring and watching the show as mute spectators. It is not for the first time that the electronic media has highlighted numerous times in past the case of over flooded trains.
“I have no option, I have to attend the mela,” said a villager who has come from remote area along with his brood of seven children. “Good thing is that I do not have to buy ticket, secondly in coach there is too much heat and no space. At the top I can enjoy cool breeze,” added another villager jovially.
Despite the repeated pleas of the authorities from Indian railways, the citizens refuse to budge. Under their reconstruction and upgradation plans, the system has introduced powerful overhead cables which are hazardous for passengers.
“It is difficult to manage such a huge crowd during festival seasons; passengers are mostly ignoring authorities warning. We are helpless” said an engine driver at Jodhpur Railway Station. “People stand up on the track to halt the trains untimely and then climb on the top,” added another driver.
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