Railway fares to shoot up?
Mumbai - Railway commuters are likely to suffer an additional pinch if the proposal to hike suburban rail fares sent to the Railway Board is approved. The Western Railway (WR) has submitted this proposal to increase ticket rates on the suburban lines. As per the proposal, a lesser hike will be done for shorter travel while it would be higher for longer distance travel. Also, the difference between 1st class and 2nd class pass rates will be lessened. It will help the WR to recover last year’s losses of Rs 1,400 crore. The 1st class and 2nd class suburban train fares could be hiked by 47 and 38 per cent respectively. The minimum fare slab will also be split and brought down to 1-5 km from earlier 1-9 km. “This proposal has not been sent to Delhi. But after the approval from Delhi officials, pass holders will have to shell out more money”, said Western Railway’s PRO Gajanan Mahaputkar. On the other hand, Mumbai congress president Sanjay Nirupam said that the party will protest against the increased railway fares. “Ever since Suresh Prabhu has become Railway Minister, he has only increased rates - be it platform tickets, cargo rates or ac waiting rooms rates. Now he is planning to increase the railway fares as well. We will protest if this done,” he said.