Posted On Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 08:07:45 AM
New Delhi - Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Wednesday hiked train fares across the board for the first time in ten years, a move which will help generate Rs 6,600 crore for the cashstrapped railways. "The hike will be two paise per km to 10 paise per km across classes.
All fares will be rounded off to Rs 5, and there will be no fare hike in the Railway Budget," he said.
Bansal also did not rule out ahike in the freight tariff. Fares of Ordinary Second Class (suburban) trains will go up by 2 paise per km while for non-suburban travel it will be 3 paise.
Travel by Second Class Mail and Express trains will be costlier by 4 paise per km, while it will be 6 paise in Sleeper Class.
Travellers by AC Chair Car and AC Three Tier will have to shell out 10 paise more per km, First Class by 3 paise, AC Two Tier by 6 paise and AC First Class by 10 paise.
The fares for First Class, AC Two Tier and AC First/ Executive Class were already raised by 10 paise per km, 15 and 30 paise respectively in the current year's budget.
Hike ‘Imperative’, says Rly minister
Bansal further said that the hike — which will be effective from January 21 midnight — was "imperative" to improve safety and cleanliness on trains and upgrade stations.
Bansal, who was made Railway Minister last October, said that the lack of revision in the last 10 years had had a "telling effect" on the railway finances, with losses likely to touch Rs 25,000 crore in the current fiscal.
He also proposed to do away with levying of development charge and exempted platform tickets from any hike. Last February, the government had been forced to roll back the first fare hike in eight years.
What your next train ride will cost you
► Outstation Trains
Pune to New Delhi (1,510 KMS) AC three tier fare (current) — Rs 1161 (after hike) — Rs 1311
Mumbai to Nagpur (840 KMS) Sleeper class fare (current) — Rs 323 (after hike) — Rs 373
Mumbai to New Delhi (1,388 KMS) AC Ist Class fare (current) — Rs 3357 (after hike) — Rs 3555
► Suburban Trains
According to railway officials in Mumbai, the hike will benefit suburban commuters in the long run by reducing queues at booking windows.
How? One of the most common issues that leads to commuters wasting time standing in long queues is squabbles for loose change. According to the new hike, all fares will be in multiples of five.
For example, while a commuter paid Rs 4 for a second class ticket from Churchgate to Mumbai Central, he/ she will now have to pay Rs 5 for it.
“With the fares in multiples of 5, calculation will be simpler, eliminating squabbles for change and ensuring faster movement of commuters in queues,” said a senior railway official.