Rail passengers, who have not experienced much of a fare hike in the past eight years, will be in for a shock when they buy ticket for journeys with effect from April 1, much as the Trinamool Congress has raised the red flag against its own Minister on the issue.
The “rationalisation” of fare is harsh on the short-distance traveller who will have to bear up to a 150 per cent increase, while the higher class passengers will be burdened with a hike by about 30 per cent.
In Dinesh Trivedi's Railway budget proposals for 2012-13, the hike is incrementally linked in terms of the distance of travel, besides the class and the train. The across-the-board fare hike will generate an additional revenue of Rs. 7,000 crore in 2012-13.
Mr. Trivedi proposes to introduce a fuel adjustment component in the fares. When it comes into being, the fares will go up further.
All fares have been rounded up to Rs. 5 that becomes the minimum fare for both suburban and urban commuters. The lowest fare of Rs. 2 is done away with.
The platform ticket will cost Rs. 5, up from Rs. 3.
All fares, second class suburban and non-suburban, ordinary second class mail and express, sleeper class, 1st class, AC classes and in Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and Janshatabdi trains, have been raised.
For second class suburban travel, the increase is 2 paise per km, which is the same as for non-suburban second class. In second class mail and express trains, it is three paise a km. The minimum distance for charge is 60 km.
For sleeper class, the increase is five paise a km.
For AC chair car, it is up by 10 paise a km. The minimum distance for charge is 150 km.
For AC 3-tier and first class, the increase is 10 paise a km.
For AC 2-tier, the increase is by 15 paise a km. The minimum distance for charge is 300 km.
For AC first class, the increase is 30 paise. The minimum distance for charge is 300 km.
While the second class non-suburban short-distance traveller, for a journey of up to 10 km, will have to bear a 150 per cent hike, there are other slabs which entail a 30 per cent increase.
The minimum fare in AC 3-tier coaches is Rs. 405 for a distance of 300 km. Travel up to 2,500 km means a fare of Rs. 1,690.
For travel by AC 2-tier, the minimum fare is Rs. 560 and for a distance of 2500 km, it is Rs. 2375.
In AC first class, the minimum fare is Rs. 955 and for a distance of 2500 km, it is Rs. 4,150.
Similarly, the rates for AC Duronto have been raised by up to 20-30 per cent depending upon the class.
Rajdhani fares go up by 23-30 per cent.