Railway board hints at hike in the passenger fares and freight ratesDecember 27, 2019 11:43
(Image source from: indianexpress.com)
In the midst of the government considering hike in passenger fares by the end of the financial year, V K Yadav, chairman of railway board said, “something is being thought about,”on Thursday. He added saying that the railways is in the process to rationalize the passengers fare and its freight charges. He said that the freight rates are already high.
“We are going to rationalize the fares and freight rates. Something is being thought about. I cannot divulge more, this is a sensitive subject. While the freight fares are already high, our target is to draw more traffic from road to railways in this regard,” V K Yadav said.
R D Bajpai, Railways Board spokesperson dismissed the speculations by quoting, “ rationalization of fare is a thought, which does not mean that the fares will be increased, it may decrease also.”
A member will be appointed in the railway board to deal with “operations and business development” as the increased freight leads to allowing more trains run by private players and to increase the revenue the private investment in station development will be the focused areas.
Considering multiple scenarios, the proposal has been placed before Rail Minister Piyush Goyal. The scenarios included sparing the lower classes, different hike slabs for different classes and per-kilometer hike, being few among the others.
The last hike was approved by the outgoing UPA government in 2014 with a 14.2 per cent increase in fares and 6.6 in freight rates. But the hike in the suburban fares was turned back to travel up to 80 km as protests were made by the then BJP ally Shiv Sena.
By Shrithika Kushangi