The Railway Budget for 2010-11 on Wednesday proposed no increase in passenger fares and freight rates while reducing the tariff by Rs 100 per wagon in transportation of foodgrains, kerosene and fertilisers to tackle the price rise.
The budget, presented by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha, also proposed to reduce the maximum limit of service charge on e-booking of tickets to Rs 10 for sleeper class and Rs 20 for AC class. The present maximum charge is Rs 15 and Rs 40 respectively.
This is the seventh year in a row that passenger fares have not been raised.
Announcing a slew of concessions for passengers, Banerjee proposed free travel for cancer patients going for treatment in three-tier AC and sleeper class and continuance of concessions for students of madrassas and journalists.
The minister said 101 new suburban services will be introduced in Mumbai and more services will be launched in Kolkata and Chennai.
A special train 'Sanskriti Express' to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore will run across the country and also to Bangladesh.
Special tourist trains called 'Bharat Teerth' will be started on 16 routes while six long-distance non-stop Duronto Express and four short-distance Duronto day trains will be introduced, the Railway Minister said.
The budget estimates for 2010-11 pegs the freight loading target at 944 million tonnes, an increase of 54 million tonnes over current year's revised estimates. The passenger traffic is likely to grow by 5.3 per cent.