Indian Railways fare hike of little help? 4 paisa per km fair hike to compensate 5% of Rs 55,000 crore loss

Indian Railways fare hike of little help? A nominal hike in fares of up to four paisa per km has been made that will barely compensate 5% of the Rs 55,000 crore losses incurred by Indian Railways during the year. The passenger fares were hiked with effect from 1 January this year.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal while replying to a query during Question Hour, recently said that as against Rs 8,000 crore which was the loss on passenger services in the year 2004, in the current period the national transporter is losing nearly Rs 55,000 crore on passenger services provided throughout India, according to a PTI report.

According to Goyal, a nominal increase of one paisa per km has been done in non-suburban train services. For non-AC as well as AC classes in Mail and Express train services, the fare has been increased by two and four paisa per km respectively.

The minister further said that as against the current loss of Rs 55,000 crore, the national transporter suffered Rs 8,000 crore losses in the year 2004. The minister said that the move is a drop in the ocean towards making Indian Railways self-sufficient. Otherwise providing the services would be impossible.

The Railway Minister said that the national transporter has been upgrading its services and facilities continuously and during the last 5.5 years, Indian Railways has undergone significant improvement in the level of services, cleanliness of stations, safety track record, punctuality and the replacement of old and worn-out equipment.

He further said that due to all these measures, the railway operations and passenger services are being improved, thus, there is obviously a huge cost element.

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