No decision on passenger or freight fare hike yet: Railway Board Chairman
Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav Monday said Centre has not taken any decision to increase passenger and freight fares, adding that the national carrier aims to “rationalise” the fares.
“No decision has been taken to increase the passenger and freight fares. In the New Year, the Railway will try to give better facilities to its passengers and also focus on running of more trains,” Yadav said.
Hindustan Times had on December 27 reported the ministry of railways plans to ask the finance ministry to bear the burden of nearly ₹50,000 crore of pension liability in a bid to cater to its dwindling finances.
Yadav said Indian Railways plans to enhance passenger amenities in a bid to increase revenue adding that certain routes will be prioritised to ensure passengers are free from being waitlisted for ticket reservation. Yadav said the railways is working on three additional dedicated freight corridors at an estimated cost of about ₹2.6 lakh crore over the next 10 years.
“Passengers could expect to be free of waiting list within the next five years on the two busiest routes of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah, where dedicated freight corridors (DFC) construction is under works and is expected to be completed by 2021,” Yadav said at a press conference Monday.
He also said there the ministry has given approval to increase the average speed of passenger trains by 60% and for Rajdhani trains to become fully overnight.
“The work to upgrade (train speed) on the route to 160 kmph has already been sanctioned and will be done in the next four years...” he said.
Announcing a slew of other reforms, Yadav said, 38,331 Bio-toilets have been installed in 11,703 coaches from April 2019 taking the total to 2,34,248 fitted in 65,627 coaches. CCTVs will be installed in all coaches , Yadav said adding that 500 CCTV-based surveillance systems have been installed thus far.
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