Friday, October 20, 2017
No first class or AC seats available of the Badulla Main Line Railway!
CGR or SLR Director General, what are you doing about it? If anything!
Since Expo Rail has NOT been granted an extension of license YET by the WORTHIES who decide! Why? The Bribe is not enough is it? There are NO seats available on the Badulla Line, unless you are willing to buy them on the black-market which is thriving.
I am not pointing a finger at anyone in particular, but it is SO OPEN to corruption as the demand exceeds the supply, would it not surprise you that there is SOMETHING FISHY going on.
People want to go up on the upcountry trains, both local and foreign, but there are NO seats that are available to be booked in advance. It is obvious therefore that they have all been purchased, by legitimate users and others acting on behalf of the tour operators, or third parties, hawking tickets to the tour operators, or selling them to tourists on the open market at a HUGE MARK-UP denying the legitimate user a chance of enjoying the beauty of the train ride up-country.
WHO IS BEHIND THIS SCAM? SURELY NOT THE TICKET SELLERS OR IS IT THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT HIMSELF THROUGH SOME EDICT?
One regular user in the past whose family lives up country, told me, did you not know it is impossible now for us to go upcountry by train anymore, I can only take the bus, as there are NO tickets available at any bookable class, even third class!
SO WHAT IS THE RAILWAYS DOING ABOUT IT? ZILCH / NOTHING
They should either double the fare, so they can double their income, or put another train or two each day on the same line to go up country. Either is OK so that supply and demand can come into balance. It is the public and the visitor to Sri Lanka after all who is inconvenienced by this absurd state of affairs.
I know it will take time for the Railways to put a new train on this line, as we need to have a spare train in the first place, and the Minister of Transport does not even understand that simplicity, if he is not already part of the problem, and will take some time for them to realize this need.
So in the interim, unilaterally double the fare and see where the cookie crumbles. See how the ticket sales situation is. Announce a temporary doubling of fares for the months to January 31st and review the daily booking situation. It is very simple to do.
In any case most of the users are now being price gouged into paying double, so the user is paying the same. Now the extra money will go to the Railways and not the profiteer and ticket counter clerk who are sharing the booty, by him buying the tickets as soon as they are released to be sold, on behalf of the touts, or at least informing the touts so they get first right of refusal. Remember the TOUTS always profit from a SUPPLY AND DEMAND MISMATCH in every instant!
Don't forget Expo Rail were able to sell the tickets at three times the price and fill the carriages, and now those customers have no where to go! So what is the stalemate with them? Let us have some transparency as to the negotiations please, so we can determine if there is some foul play on either side of this debate. They have carriages that need to be tethered to the normal trains and they are NOW LYING IDLE losing the Country Foreign Aid while the officials are DITHERING!
CHAIRMAN OF SLTDA INTERVENE AND RESOLVE THAT ISSUE NOW