Monthly season tickets and passengers in suburban trains exempted from hike

While exempting almost half of its passengers from additional burden, the railways have increased fares by roughly 2 per cent to offset increased fuel expenditure. However, those travelling in Duronto will have to pay as much as Rajdhani passengers with effect from Monday.

The railways have also increased freight charges by 1.7 per cent across the board from next Thursday.

With the introduction of combo meals, prices have also been increased with respect to catering. These charges will affect passengers travelling in premium trains or long distance.

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge cleared these proposals on Friday.

Exemptions

According to railway officials, those travelling in suburban trains have been exempted from any hikes. The monthly season tickets have also been spared from the fuel adjustment component (FAC) – a concept introduced in the railway budget that allows for revision of fares and freight every six months.

Under this dynamic pricing system, the railways have almost passed on the additional burden of Rs. 1200 crore as a result of 8.5 per cent rise in its cost of diesel over the six month period of February-July, and 15 per cent hike in traction cost (electricity), during the same period.

Through the hike in passenger fares, the railways intend to net Rs. 400 crore as additional passenger fares and Rs. 750 crore from raised freight charges, during the remainder part of the current financial year.

Over the past 10 days, the railways have slapped a 15 per cent hike in commodity freight charges and parcel rates, and provided for tatkal tickets in passenger trains raking in Rs. 1200 crore. Hence, the railways have sought to mobilise an additional Rs. 2350 crore over the next six months.

Rise in basic fares

Those travelling in passenger trains will bear a minimum burden of Rs. 5 if they travel over 35 km.

For those travelling in second class sleeper in a mail or an express, the rise in basic fare will range from Rs. 5 to Rs. 15 depending on the distance. For example, the Bangalore-Mysore basic fare goes up by Rs. 3 but rounding up the figure the fare actually rises by Rs. 5. On the other hand, for those travelling more than 3000 km, the additional burden will be Rs. 15. Passengers travelling in superfast trains will additionally have to pay superfast charges.

For those travelling in AC compartments, the minimum hike could be Rs. 30 for those travelling in AC III, Rs. 40 for AC II passengers and Rs. 65 for AC I, including other additional charges. Travelling from Delhi to Bangalore would entail a further increase: the rise will be Rs. 35, Rs. 55 and Rs. 95 respectively.

In the case of Shatabdi, the executive class would cost Rs. 25 more for a journey from Delhi to Lucknow and for Rs. 10 for a chair car. Similarly, the journey to Bhopal from Delhi gets costlier by Rs. 35 in the executive class and by Rs. 15 in the chair car.

For those who prefer Duronto trains, which have no halts in between, the base fares have been brought on a par with that of the Rajdhani. To this, an additional 2 per cent hike in the form of FAC will be added.

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