The Railways announced a two paise/km hike in fares of mail/express non-AC trains and four paise/km hike within the fares of AC classes. On New Year’s eve, the railways reported hike over its network, excluding rural trains, successful from January 1, 2020, according to an order issued on Tuesday. Whereas rural passages stay unaltered, conventional non-AC, non-suburban fares hiked by 1 paise per km of travel. No excess fare will be charged from travellers who have booked tickets already recently on this date.

Premium trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto trains are included within the fare hike. Within the Delhi-Kolkata Rajdhani which covers a distance of 1,447 km, the hike at the rate of 4 paise per km will be around Rs 58. As per the order, there will not be any altered within the reservation charge and superfast charge and the hike in fares will not be pertinent to tickets that are already booked.

Indian Railways has persistently tried to increase traveller encounter through modernization of coaches and improved facilities over stations. The burden of 7th Pay Commission on Indian Railways has required rationalization of fares.

It stated “In order to expand passenger amenities and facilities at various railway stations and trains, it has become imperative to increase the fare marginally without overburdening any class of passengers. Fast modernization of Indian Railways will be achieved through this fare revision.” “Moreover it said that suburban passengers have been left out of the hike keeping the “affordability concerns of daily commuters”. The railways in a statement said the revenue generated by the marginal increment in fare will be used for the modernization of the network.

The last hike was reported in 2014-2015 when the fares of all classes of trains were raised by 14.2% and cargo charges by 6.5%. In any case, since at that point, the railways introduced the Flexi-fare scheme which raised fares on select trains like Vande Bharat Express and Tejas Express which have relatively high fares.

Credits : PTI