After mounting pressure on the Narendra Modi government over rail fare hike, the railways announced that the hike in rail fares will not apply to second class suburban trains for travel up to 80 km. However, the NDA government’s decision on railway fare hike has hit the Shiv Sena roadblock in Maharashtra. Following the opposition from the second largest and oldest NDA constituent, the government is expected to roll back the fare hike for Mumbai locals.
A senior Shiv Sena leader has, reportedly, talked to Union Railways Minister Sadanand Gowda, and the party has also expressed its displeasure over the hike decision through its mouthpiece, Saamna.
Here are the reasons why the rail fare hike has become such a major concern for the Shiv Sena, in connection with the Mumbai suburban trains, and why it matters a lot:
1. The monthly season ticket from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Kalyan currently costs Rs 245. But after the hike, the cost of the MST has shot up to Rs 495, bringing apparent displeasure to the people of Mumbai and the Shiv Sena.
2. The validity of a monthly season ticket is 30 days, of which railway charges for 15 days, and the next 15 are subsidised. Following the revision of fare, the MST charges for 30 journeys.
3. The railway is expected to earn as much as Rs 902 crore from the hike in the MST cost.
4. Suburban services are a major wing of railways, as it earns not less than Rs 2000 crore from the same.
5. More than half – 53% – of the total passengers of railways use suburban train services.
6. As much as 6 per cent will be the total earnings from suburban services in passenger segment after the rail fare hike.