Mumbaiites will not only have to bear the brunt of the 8-12% proposed hike in suburban train fares, but also pay a surcharge on their fare from next year.
The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the joint venture between the railways and the state, set up to upgrade Mumbai suburban railway, wants to add the surcharge to pay off World Bank loans. The loans were taken under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) meant to upgrade Mumbai’s transport infrastructure.
If the 8% surcharge comes into effect, 70 lakh commuters will have to pay at least 16% more than the current fare (in addition to the proposed minimum 8% fare hike) on local trains. The surcharge will increase to 24% in 2015 and could continue till 2025 till such time that the loan is paid. The railways is supposed to recover Rs240 crore through the surcharge till 2025.
A senior railway official said the surcharge proposal was already under consideration by the Railway Board.