Thursday, January 10, 2013

Roll back fare hikes in Indian Railways, demands ABGP



Hon’ble Minister of Railways announced on January 9, 2013 affecting an across-the-board hike in fares of all classes from midnight of January 21. 
ABGP, submitted a Memorandum appealing to the Hon'ble Minister of Railways to roll back the steep fare hike announced will further hit the common man already reeling under price rise and inflation. Further, unlike others, The Railways have social obligations too. Moreover, whenever there is a fare hike assurances are given that passenger amenities in the Trains and Stations etc will be improved. But in practice and from the media reports it is learnt that IR has to go a long way to extent satisfactory passenger service.
Highlights of fare hike effective from midnight of 21st January 2013.
-Second class ordinary suburban fares up by 2 paise per km                       
-Second class ordinary non-suburban fares up by 3 paise per km
-Second class mail express – 4 paise per km
– Sleeper class -6 paise per km
Hon’ble Minister’s assertion that,  “People are ready to pay. After all we have to modernize the railways,”  “That railways needed funds to do even the elementary things — from upgrading signalling system to facilitate running of trains through fog, installation of anti-collision devices to bio toilets in coaches and at stations as part of ensuring better hygiene.”
Hon’ble Minister’s above assertions and justifications for the fare hike are unjustified and unacceptable.
ABGP submitted to the Hon’ble Minister’s  kind attention that when the Budget Session of Parliament is by next month, without active discussions and suggestions by Members of Parliament on Railway Budget, any hike or major policy decision announcement by the Minister is not a democratic one. There is no urgency to hike the fares now itself.
The Railways and Finance Ministry have other means to garner additional revenue like
            - Avoid giving, huge concessions to Corporates.
            - Unearthing the Black money.
            - Effective collection of dues from NPA of high borrowal accounts of banks.
            -Generating income from vast land properties of Railways.
            - Increasing the advertisement revenue.
            - Effective administration etc,
If income is generated from the above avenues, there will be no necessity to this fare hike.  IR being  one of the world’s largest networks and caters to more than  20 million passengers daily, the steep fare hike,  will further hit the common man already reeling under price rise and inflation. Further, unlike others, The Railways have social obligations too. Moreover, whenever there is a fare hike assurances are given that passenger amenities in the Trains and Stations etc will be improved. But in practice and from the media reports it is learnt that IR has to go a long way to extent satisfactory passenger service.
In view of the above, as a responsible All India Consumer Movement, ABGP appealed to the Hon’ble Minister to reconsider the decision and order for the roll back of the fare hikes announced.

1 comment:

  1. railway employees are paid fat salaries with so many perks and bonuses for their ineffecient work they do, why cannot this goverment reduce their salaries to overcome the deficit so the poor people who depend on railways will be spared.

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