Critical Overview of the Indian Railway System: The transport system of a country should be so devised and managed that it may promote the harmonious development of a country. The efficiency of Indian railway system can be critically judged in three ways:
- Whether it is adequate?
- Whether it is speedy?
- Whether it is cheap?
Our railways are spread over the most fertile and most densely populated parts of the country. It connect all the large and important towns, particularly the sea-ports, with inland centers of trade. However, extensive areas where there are no modern means of transport still await development.
The railways in India sometimes find it a bit too difficult to handle the growing volume of business in the harvesting seasons, much more so in times of emergency.
Our present rail transport system, although sufficiently good and workable, is inadequate for meeting all the requirements of a big country like India. The overcrowding of third-class passengers on railways is so notorious that it needs no special mention.
However, the promptness with which railways have transported supplies from one part of the country to another, during famines and other emergencies, shows that they have vastly changed the conditions of affairs in the country for the better.
As compared to older means of transport, railways in India are indeed cheaper, but cheapness is a relative term. Our absolute dependence on our railways make our railway system of a monopolistic nature. A monopolistic system has its grave inherent disadvantages.
Indeed, varied forms of mechanical transport are a modern necessity, and the consumer of the service always stands to gain thereby.
When there is competition among different forms of transport, greater facilities for all classes of traffic are provided in order to attract greater custom. Cheapness can come through competition.