Fares of all trains running from Chandigarh see a considerable hike with the union railway ministry announcing 14.2% increase in passenger fare on Friday.
Effective from June 25, major revision is seen in the Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi Express, whose AC chair car fare has increased from ` 77 to ` 89. The increase is even dearer in the executive class fare as an increase of ` 152 to ` 164 is being reported in three Shatabdi trains, having variation in fare. More than 20 trains, including long-journey trains, run from Chandigarh railway station.
City resident Ajay Jagga said the increase seemed to be inevitable but the government must provide more facilities in return. “Security and cleanliness are the major two issues. The amount collected from fare hike must be spent on bringing more cleanliness and serving better food inside the trains and most importantly, the security and safety of the track and passengers should be paramount priority for the government.”
Panchkula-based charted accountant Sanjay Arora said the increase in fare was expected but if it would not be diverted to modernise Indian railways, it would definitely hurt people.
“We need cleanliness and security cameras at every station. Fast-track trains must be introduced so that travelling and economy get a boost. Minimum derailment and accidents should be ensured,” he added.
Chandigarh resident Vijay Nalwa said an increase of 14.2% came as a bolt from the blue. “Already under pressure with general inflation, the railway fare will further burn our pocket.”
General secretary of Chandigarh Malayalam Association Captain CR Benny said the increase in railway fare would affect the long route passengers a lot. For instance, with this increase, the charges of first class AC of Chandigarh-Kochuveli had almost equalled to the air fare. The new government should have barred at least AC three-tier and sleeper class passengers from the increase.
Confederation of Indian Industries local head Manmohan Singh said one-time increase in fare was fine, but the railway must think out of the box to generate funds from other resources. “Taxing people for fund generation is not a viable option as it has repercussions on the entire economy due to railway being the life line of the country.”
“The ministry must start strengthening their other allied services like modernising its freight corridor services to generate more funds. They must start behaving like a private corporate and start slew of measure to modernise railways as promised by the PM,” he added.