Rail fare hike: ‘Are these good days?’
Railways gave a New Year shocker to the passengers by hiking the fare by 4 paise per kilometre for AC coaches of mail/express trains and 2 paise per kilometre for non-AC coaches. The new rates came into effect on Wednesday. The revision has not gone down well with passengers, who said it would be hard to afford such inflation now.
Now, passengers travelling from Ludhiana to Delhi in an AC coach will have to shell out ₹12 more and those travelling to Jaipur will have to spend ₹28 extra, while it will cost the passengers travelling to stations of Bihar in AC coaches over ₹50 more than the previous tariff.
The order regarding this was released by the Railway board late on Tuesday. It further read that there will be no change in charges for reservation fee, superfast surcharge and other charges. There is no change in fare of sub-urban trains as well.
Passengers criticise the move
Passengers have criticised the decision of the ministry of railways. They said the Railways claimed that it was committed to improve the punctuality of trains, but trains were still running with delay of hours. Moreover, the condition of trains is also poor and despite all these factors, the authorities have increase the fare, which is unacceptable, they said.
Farooq, who was travelling to Patna from Ludhiana, said he was charged around ₹55 more as compared to the fare he had paid in November.
“Few months ago, the Railways had hiked the prices of meal and now, it has increased the fare for passengers. Are these the achhe din (good days)?,” he asked.
Similarly, another passenger, Raghav Singla, who was travelling to Jaipur, said the prices of milk, onions and other vegetables have increased in the past few months. “With this hike in the rail fare, rates of other products will also be increased. When there is a slump in the market, people cannot afford such inflation,” he added.
In November, the Railways had increased the price of meals served in trains. In first AC and executive-class coaches, the price of tea has been increased to ₹35 from ₹15; breakfast now costs ₹140 (increased from ₹90), while rates of lunch and dinner have been revised to ₹245 from ₹140. Similarly, in second class AC, third class AC and chair car, the tea now costs ₹20, breakfast ₹105, and lunch and dinner ₹185.