Trivedi hints at increase in passenger fare

Steep hike in the fares of AC classes and superfast trains likely

The Railways needs huge resources to put in place a strong safety system.

However, second class fare is unlikely to be touched. The Railways may also increase charges on various on-board facilities like bed roll and food.

There may be a steep hike in the fares of AC classes of all types and high speed and superfast trains. According to sources, second class sleeper may also have some rise in its fare. There may be an increase in metro and suburban train fares also. Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Friday gave a broad indication of the ministry’s proposals to hike passenger fare.

Trivedi revealed that the Railways would need huge resources to put in place a strong safety system. Since safety can not be compromised, money is to be mobilised from all the sources.

“We are looking into all the options including rationalisation of fare. However, we will ensure that it should not burden the common man and the poor,” he said.

The minister referred to the increase in petroleum prices and electricity charges and said this has increased financial burden on the Railways. And now it has become essential to ease out the burden, he said. “One of the options is to increase passengers fare.
However, other options are also being considered to augment the financial resources,” said Trivedi. He referred to options like increase in freight revenue and establishing captive power plants to get electricity at lower prices. Meanwhile, the ministry is mobilising support of various stake holders.

Railways’ trade unions have demanded an increase in fare. Referring to his meeting with the employees’ unions, Trivedi said they are also favouring an increase in the railway fare.

He also referred to his interactions with passengers in urban areas and asserted that they were ready to pay increased fare.

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