The Indian Railways does not have any proposal to increase fares, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain said the national transporter has seen an increase in passenger traffic of 0.68 per cent and a spike of 0.99 per cent between Delhi and Mumbai during April- November 2017 as compared to the corresponding period last year.
To queries on passenger traffic, special trains and their fares, he said railways runs these trains during peak seasons, festivals, special events for clearance of extra rush of passengers keeping in view the pattern of traffic, commercial justification, operational feasibility and availability of resources.
“Special trains on special charges are introduced based on demand pattern. They run over and above the scheduled time-tabled trains and are charged at the rate of 10 per cent of basic fare for second class for reserved accommodation and 30 per cent of basic fare for all other classes, subject to minimum and maximum”, the minister said.
He also pointed out that railways runs Suvidha trains based on demand pattern and the minimum fare of such trains is equal to Tatkal fare applicable for the class of accommodation for initial 20 per cent of berths and thereafter the fare increases for subsequent slabs of 20 per cent of seats/berths booked subject to maximum three times of Tatkal fare. Gohain said fares of these trains have been kept higher since special efforts like monitoring of waiting list position of each and every trains, arrangement of rakes and coaches, required staff at short notice are made for running of these services.
“Apart from this operational cost of running passenger train services is increasing year after year and the passenger fare is highly subsidised. “At present there is no such proposal”, he said replying to a query on whether government is reviewing increase in fares.