Many years ago I was travelling in a bus and next to me was a naval officer. As often happens in India we started talking and were soon discuusing the favourite topic of corruption. An observation by the officer has remained with me throughuot. He said that around 5 to 10% of any government project is generally involved in corruption. The whole attention is focussed on unravelling it and especially who is or are the beneficiaries. However very little attention is paid to the actual balance 90 to 95 % that is spent on the project. In the process we lose on both accounts.

Second time, I was travelling in the second AC compartment of Mumbai bound train. Opposite to me happened to be an executive engineer of the Western Railways. As usual we got talking and came to the topic of corruption. I started telling about my experience with the Railways. He burst out laughing and narrated his own experience. It seems he had to tarvel on an emergency on the Southern Railway to his hometown recently. He being a railway employee thought it fit to approach the TT of the train. The TT told him to sit and he would be coming to him shortly. After sometime the TT came and asked him where he wanted to go. Before the executive enginerer could identify himself the TT straight away asked for a Rs 300 bribe. When the enginerer identified himself and showed his identity card the TT instead of feeling shameful it seems jokingly stated that he is going to suffer a revenue loss today. He alloted the seat to him but was visibly annoyed that he was not going to earn out of it .Later on the TT shared with the engineer that the bribe he collects is shared upto the higher level at the station.

Third time I am traveling during the summer rush from Delhi to Mumbai. There were many unreserved passengers asking the TT for a berth. Aftersome time he asks them all to come to the passage near the door and tells them that the 2-3 months of summer and 2-3 months of Diwali time are months of poverty for them. During his period as families travel, they do so with reservation done months in advance. From wherre is he going to get a free berth to sell. So he may please be spared. Instead he advised them to pay to the travelling police to allow you to tarvel in the compartment.

Iin these days of mega scams the above tavelling scams are supposed to be fun.




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