<Posting on behalf of Sanjeev>
Finally the Ministry of Railways, has bit the bullet - Hiked the passenger fares across the board. Though the hike is very modest and reasonable, already voices of opposition are heard from BJP, and other known socialists. Nothing new in Indian politics.
Source - The Hindu
Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Wednesday hiked train fares across the board, the first time in ten years, with effect from January 21 midnight.The proposals will rake in an additional Rs. 1200 crore between January 21 and March 31 this year, the Minister said announcing the decision and did not rule out a hike in the freight tariff. Fares of ordinary second-class (suburban) trains will go up by 2 paise per km while for non-suburban travel it will be 3 paise.
Travel by second-class mail and express trains will be costlier by 4 paise per km, while it will be 6 paise in sleeper class. Travellers by AC chair car and AC three-tier will have to shell out 10 paise more per km, first class by 3 paise, AC two-tier by 6 paise and AC first-class by 10 paise. The fares for first-class, AC two-tier and AC first/executive Class were already raised by 10 paise per km, 15 and 30 paise respectively in the current year’s budget.
Breaking away from the populism of his predecessors, including Lalu Prasad and Mamata Banerjee, Mr. Bansal, told a press conference that the decision to hike the fares was “imperative” as lack of revision in the last 10 years has had a “telling effect” on the railway finances. Mr. Bansal also proposed to do away with the practice of levying development charge on passenger tickets and all the chargeable fares will in future be in multiples of five.
As a result of the proposed hike, ordinary second-class suburban fares for a distance of 35 km will go up by Rs. 2 from Rs. 8 to Rs. 10, while in the non-suburban trains it will go up by Rs. 5 for an average distance of 135 km.
- In sleeper class, the increase would mean a hike of Rs. 50 for a distance of 770 km from Rs. 270 to Rs. 320.
- In the case of AC chair car, for a distance of 387 km, the increase would be Rs. 40 from Rs. 345 to Rs. 385.
- In the case of AC three-tier, for a distance of 717 km, the fare will go up from Rs. 724 to Rs. 800, an increase of Rs 76.
- Similarly, in the case of AC two-tier, the increase would mean a hike of Rs. 48 for a distance of 721 km, while for AC first-class it will be Rs. 56 for a distance of 547 km.