No hike in train tickets, festival specials still running, clarifies railways
Amid reports that Indian Railways has hiked ticket prices in 2021, the ministry has clarified that ticket prices remain the same. Terming the reports misleading, the ministry said that there has been no change in ticket fares.
But then why passengers are also seeing a difference in the fare? The ministry clarified that festival special trains which were introduced in October to clear the rush of passengers are still running as the ministry has not gone back to its pre-Covid status of services. Starting with Shramik specials and a handful of special passengers trains in April-May, services have gone up offering connectivity across the country but has not yet achieved pre-March status.
The fares of festival special trains have always been slightly higher than normal fares, the railways said adding that it has been a practice since 2015. Since those trains are still running owing to high demand, fares may seem higher but no change in ticket prices has brought in effect.
"It may be noted that Passenger operations have always been subsidized by railways. Railways bears loss for travel by passenger. Railways has been running trains in covid times in most challenging circumstances. Running in low occupancy in many sections and still operating in public welfare," the statement issued by the ministry said.
"Not only this, Railways has taken special care about the Travel by those travelling by lowest fare in trains so that even in Covid times they bear the least burden. In all the trains that are being run, besides other classes, the trains have large number of 2S class coaches which has the lowest fare in the reserved category," it said.
As per the policy, 2S passengers, even in special fare case have not been charged more than additional ₹15.
"Indian Railways has operationalised almost 60% of the Mail/Express trains as compared to the pre lock down times. 77% of these special trains have fares of regular trains. Around 250 trains daily are running as trains with special fares," the statement said.