Expressing deep concern over the prevailing financial status of the railways, two leading railway unions on Tuesday met Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi and favoured hike in passenger fares in AC and sleeper classes.
"We explained to the Railway Minister about the urgent need for rationalisation of passenger fares as operational costs have gone up many times since the last hike, "National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) General Secretary G Raghavaiah told PTI after meeting Trivedi here.
Apart from NIFR, All-India Federation of Railwaymen delegation also met Trivedi separately and suggested fare hike to tide over the financial "crisis".
However, both the NIFR and AIFR were not in favour of hiking general second class fare.
"We told the Minister to increase the fare in sleeper and AC classes and not in general class," AIFR General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said.
Justifying the demand for fare hike, Raghavaihah said "today if a passenger is paying Rs 100 in a bus for travelling certain distance, it would cost him just Rs 24 in the train journey for the same distance," he said.
"But we are against hike in second class fare. The hike in second class fare can be taken up in the next phase," the NIFR leader said.
Asked about Trivedi's response, Raghavaiah said "the Minister's response seems to be positive as he assured us to actively consider it."
Besides railways' financial position, union delegations also took up the issue of filling up a large number of vacancies in railways and anomaly in the recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission.