Hike in fares likely as Railways mulls ways to raise resources

Earlier Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking Rs 1,19,183 crore

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:December 11, 2016 9:15 am
railways, railways fare hike, indian railways, railway ticket price hike, suresh prabhu, railways minister, price hike railways Railways is witnessing train derailments on almost regular basis

Train passengers may have to shell out more as Railways is mulling increasing fares in a bid to raise resources after the Finance Ministry rejected its proposal of a special safety fund. According to the proposal, a safety cess will be levied to generate funds for strengthening track and upgrading signalling system and elimination of unmanned level crossings among other safety-related works to prevent mishaps.

Earlier Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking Rs 1,19,183 crore to create the special Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh for undertaking various safety works.

However, the proposal did not find much favour with the Finance Ministry and it asked the Railways to raise resources on its own by raising fares.

The Finance Ministry agreed to provide only 25 per cent and suggested that Railways raise 75 per cent resources itself for the special safety fund, sources said.

“Though the Railway Minister is not in favour of raising fares at this juncture when passenger bookings are falling and fares of AC-2 and AC-1 are already on higher side, the reluctance of Finance Ministry to provide a bail-out package has left the minister with no option,” a source said.

According to the plan, the cess on Sleeper, Second Class and AC-3 will be higher while it will be marginal for AC-2 and AC-1.

A final decision on raising fares is yet to be taken as modalities are still being worked out, sources added.

Railways is witnessing train derailments on almost regular basis – two in quick succession in the recent past causing heavy casualties. Experts say these mishaps have taken place due to the lack of upgrading and proper maintenance of track and signalling system.

The basic thrust in the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh proposal is to go for modern signalling system and elimination of all vulnerable unmanned level crossings to prevent accidents. Since majority of accidents happen at unmanned level crossings it is essential to eliminate those level crossings through construction of road over bridges and under bridges.

Since Railways has decided to increase the average speed of trains, it is important that rail track and rail bridges are also strengthened along with signalling upgrade.

Apart from increasing speed of passenger service, Railways has also decided to run freight trains with 25 tonne axle load for which strengthening of track and rail bridge is essential.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. L
    Lovely
    Dec 11, 2016 at 6:45 am
    During Nitish time this safety cess was levied but funds were diverted, more accidents took place.
    Reply
  2. J
    jaya
    Dec 12, 2016 at 4:31 am
    RAIL RATES ARE CHEAPER,COMPARED TO ROAD RATES. RATES MUST BE INCREASED and SPENT ON MODERNIZATION OF RAILWAYS. THANKS TO RAILWAY MINISTER.
    Reply
  3. R
    Ramesh Chhabra
    Dec 11, 2016 at 11:43 am
    What is super fast charges? What was the reason to levy it from pengers? Was it started to levy it from pengers' on account of safety?
    Reply
  4. G
    Guptan Veemboor
    Dec 11, 2016 at 8:49 am
    Increase fares of all cles except 2nd Cl which is used by the poor. Make railway self sustaining without any aid from government.
    Reply