Today's letters.

Economics of Air India

It is reported that our flag carrier Air India has saved Rs. 600 crores in the last three months because of the several economy measures initiated by the management.

It should be remembered that during this period a large number of its pilots were on strike crippling the air lines’ operations. This also must have contributed to the savings. This reminded me of a humorous cartoon that appeared in one of the news papers long ago when the Indian economy was in shambles, and when there was an acute shortage of foreign exchange. In this, a delegation of officials is being taken round a shut-down plant and the General Manager of the plant is boasting “we save Rs.10 crores in foreign exchange every day by keeping the plant shut.”

V.V.S.MANI

Rama Temple Road,

Koramangala, Block 6,

Bengaluru 560 095

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Fogging alert only for the planes?

It is appalling to note that ten persons were killed and over 40 others were injured in the train accidents at different places in UP Saturday morning due to dense fog. As a normal procedure the railways have announced a payment of Rs. 5 lakhs to the familites of the dead, Rs.1 lakh to those seriously injured and Rs. 10000/- with minor injuries.  

Due to thick fog many national and international flights were cancelled.   The visibility distance was reported less than 50 meters on that day. As such, how is it that our railway drivers and station masters are not trained to act in times of exigency life thick fog and floods?  Communication was not disrupted. The drivers should have either been warned to maneuver the trains at a low speed or else the trains could have been detained in the previous stations.  All the accidents have occured at around 8.00am in the morning. 

So it is a clear case of human failure. So the Railway minister should concentrate more on the safety measures than eyeing on the CM's chair at West Bengal.

 N. R. Ramachandran,

Ooty.

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Avoidable accidents

 Accidents of trains ramming into one another on the same track or a speeding one colliding with a stationary one because of poor visibility due to fog is all passé in the twenty first century when use of much advanced electronic devices are very much in vogue to avert such collisions.

Sufficient forewarning signals are provided to the drivers and others on duty at railway stations and railway lines during movements of trains.

The disasters that occurred on Saturday near Kanpur and Etawah could have been staved off, had those on duty been a little alert. Given the inexorable march of invention and introduction of electronic collision-avoiding gadgets for trains and other vehicles, can’t such avoidable mishaps be prevented?

H. Narayanan.

II Stage; B-Sector,

Yelahanka New Town

Bangalore-560064

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Golden Chariot in trouble

The much touted super luxury Golden Chariot, a joint venture of the State and the Railways, is in trouble ("Railcar named Chariot runs out of steam", D H. January 3).

It has barely managed to stay afloat with burgeoning expenses and a hefty fee of Rs 28 lakhs as haulage fee to the railways. With the occupancy hovering around 40 per cent, it would be difficult to make both ends meet.

The time has come to review the entire Chariot scheme and see if it's worth all the efforts to get a minimum of returns. Instead, privatizing the Chariot is one option. The other option is to have a two-tiered ticketing system to woo domestic tourists who cannot afford to pay Rs 88,000 for the trip. May be the 'luxury' aspect could be scaled down for the domestic tourists within an affordable budget. In view of low occupancy, whether railway coaches are really economical need to be studied in detail. Perhaps two or three super luxury air-conditioned coaches could be used for traveling with the stay arranged in good hotels for overnight stay.

D.B.N. Murthy

I Block, Jayanagar

Bangalore 560 011

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3 Idiots credit: Well planned publicity stunt
The ongoing spat between the Director and the Author of the just released film "3 Idiots" has been receiving wide publicity in the media. This appears to be well planned publicity stunt. The film has not been a runaway success as thought by its producers.Hence, it is a good strategy to start some sort of controvery over it's production,story,etc...since only then people will start seeing the movie to 'know the truth" !

Very recently Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah was sold out the day it was released since the author was expelled from the party for writing it. More publicity was in store, since a State Government decided to ban the book. In the continuing tussle between the Director and the Author of "3 Idiots" there is only one question that arises in everyone's mind. Is the controversy/allegations/counter allegation true? Then why are these being aired through the media almost everyday? Perhaps the entire game plan can be summed up as: 2 idiots are inviting the 3rd.idiot (the viewer) to see the film! Nothing more, nothing less.On the whole, it is an interesting marketing strategy but somewhat stale.

Aniruddha Sudhir

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