Indian Railways will increase passenger fares across all categories ranging from two paise per km to 30 paise per km in 2012-13, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said Wednesday.
This will be the first increase in passenger fares since 2002-03.
While presenting his ministry's budget for the next fiscal, Trivedi said the railways were passing through difficult times and the hike in fares had become a compulsion due to a sharp increase in costs, especially on fuel and human resources.
"I propose to rationalise the fares to cause minimal impact on the common man and to keep the burden within tolerance limits in general,” Trivedi said while presenting his maiden budget.
The minimum increase of two paise per km will be in the suburban and ordinary second class category, while the maximum of 30 paise per km will be for the AC first class category.
For mail and express trains, the second class fare increase will be 3 paise per km, for sleeper class 5 paise per km, for AC chair car, AC three tier and first class categories 10 paise per km and for AC two tier category, the increase will be 15 paise per km.
"The proposed adjustments do not even cover fully the impact of increase in fuel prices during the last eight years. I am keeping the valuable passengers of Indian Railways insulated from the burden of increase in staff costs,” the minister said.
Trivedi's decision to hike fares was criticised by his own party, the Trinamool Congress.
"We oppose the rail fare hike. We want the government to roll-back. It is not in the interest of the common man," said Sudip Bandyopadhyay, a senior member of Trinamoon Congress and minister of state for health.
The proposed revisions will have marginal impact on the fares. The increase in fares for suburban second class passengers travelling 35 km will be Rs. 2. For non-suburban second class ordinary passenger travelling a distance of 135 km, the increase will be Rs. 4.
For second class mail/express passenger travelling a distance of 375 km, the addition to the fare will be Rs.12 and that for a 750 km journey by sleeper class on mail/express train will be Rs. 40.
An AC 3 tier passenger travelling a distance of 530 km will be required to pay an additional Rs.57. The increase for AC 2 tier and AC I passenger travelling over same distance will be Rs. 84 and Rs. 163 respectively.
Railways fare hike break-up
*2 paise per km for suburban & ordinary second class
*3 paise per km for mail/express second class
*5 paise per km for sleeper class
*10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier & 1st Class
*15 paise per km for AC 2 tier
*30 paise per km for AC I
*Platform tickets to cost Rs. 5