Madurai

Madurai MP wants railways to restore passenger concessions

Madurai

Madurai MP Su. Venkatesan has appealed to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to restore passenger concessions for their railway journeys.

In a memorandum handed over to the Minister at New Delhi on Friday, Mr. Venkatesan welcomed restoration of most of the train services that were cancelled during Covid-19 pandemic.

However, 53 concessions given to almost 21.75 crore passengers have not been given back except in the case of railway employees. Even for railway employees introduction of e-pass system has restricted their travel facility.

As per CAG, 11.45% of reserved passengers avail the concessions. Out of this, the railway employees, for whom concession is statutory, constitute 37.2%, and senior citizens 52.5% . Patients constitute 3.8%., physically handicapped 3.6% and other concessions, including to media persons constitute 2.9%

By a commercial circular dated December 7, 2020 all concessions except for railway passes were withdrawn in festival, holiday specials and clone trains.

Senior citizen concession takes only ₹ 1,400 crore per year. All the concessions were allowed in course of time for various reasons out of social necessity and obligation. Even war widows, sports persons, kisans, youth , students enjoyed the concession.

In a country where 20% of population is below the poverty level, the concessions are essential to ensure pilgrimage and tourism. Withdrawal of concessions has only made passengers not travel even for necessity.

As colleges and schools are reopening, extension of season tickets, including student concessions, was of utmost necessity, the MP said and appealed to the Minister to restore season tickets, including free and concession season tickets to students and market vendor season tickets to rural merchants.

In order to facilitate the concession, Mr. Venkatesan also wanted the railways to run ordinary passenger trains and attach unreserved coaches in the express and mails.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 9:39:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madurai-mp-wants-railways-to-restore-passenger-concessions/article37140704.ece

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