New Delhi, June 25:
Amid concerns in the ruling NDA over the impact of rail fare hike on election-bound states, the railways Tuesday announced relief in monthly season tickets and second class suburban fares.
According to a railway ministry release, the hike of 14.2 percent in passenger fares will not apply to second class suburban journey up to 80 km.
“In view of the modifications, the revised fares in the unreserved segment shall come into force from June 28. However, for reserved segment, the revised fares shall come into effect from June 25 as notified earlier,” the release said.
The railways June 20 announced an increase of 14.2 percent in passenger fares and 6.5 percent in freight rates, ahead of rail budget next month. The revised rates will come into effect from Wednesday.
The release said that circular for revision of passenger fares issued by railways had among other things made a change in the way the fare for monthly season tickets (MSTs) was to be calculated.
“The new MST fares ranged 1.7 times to 3.5 times of the old MST fare.A Despite the fact that MSTs are highly subsidized, the ministry of railway has now decided to modify the fair revision circular and hence a decision has been taken to increase the cost of existing MST fare by only 14.2 percent,” it said.
“The monthly season tickets for both suburban and non-suburban shall now be charged at 14.2 percent over the existing rates rounded off as per extant instructions,” the release added.
The partial roll-back came after the National Democratic Alliance MPs from Maharashtra met Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda and demanded a rollback in the hike.
Maharashtra and Haryana are among states that will face elections later this year. Suburban rail fare is an emotive issue in cities like Mumbai where large number of people use train for local travel.