Steep hike in train fare
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
QUESTION NO 223
ANSWERED ON 04.08.2017
Steep hike in train fare
223 Shri Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur
Will the Minister of RAILWAYS be pleased to satate :-
(a) the reasons for steep hike in train fare;
(b) the reasons for Railways incurring losses along with the existing loss per month and how much loss will be recovered by hiking train fare;
(c) whether Railways will recover all losses by increasing the fare only; and
(d) whether Government is planning to change or provide new type of amenities/facilities after raising train fare steeply, if so, the details thereof?
MINISTER OF RAILWAYS (SHRI SURESH PRABHAKAR PRABHU)
(a) to (d): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (d) OF STARRED QUESTION NO. 223 BY SHRI HARSHVARDHAN SINGH DUNGARPUR ANSWERED ON 04.08.2017 REGARDING STEEP HIKE IN TRAIN FARE
(a) There has been no steep hike in train fare in recent times. The last fare hike was effected in 2014-15 with effect from 25.06.2014 wherein passenger fares were increased by 14.2%. However, there was no increase in Second Class (ordinary) Suburban fare upto a distance of 80 km.
Thereafter, in 2016-17, Flexi-fare system has been introduced in Rajdhani/Duronto and Shatabdi trains from 09.09.2016. Under this system, the base fare increases by 10% with every 10% of berths sold subject to maximum prescribed limit of 1.5 times in classes Second Air Conditioned, Sleeper, Second Sitting (Reserved), Air Conditioned Chair Car and 1.4 times in Air Conditioned 3-Tier.
However, various rebates have been introduced after an interim review of the flexi fare system and the following changes have been effected from 20.12.2016:
- 30% Tatkal charges are not levied in these trains.
- 10% rebate in basic fare on vacant berths/seats after preparation of first chart in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains.
iii. Provision of Tatkal quota has been reduced in flexi fare train from maximum 30% to 10 % of the total available berths.
- Flexi fares are not applicable to First Air Conditioned and Executive Chair Car.
- Discounted fare has been offered on some of these trains including Jaipur-Ajmer and Ajmer-Jaipur on Train No. 12015/12016 New Delhi-Ajmer Shatabdi and for the passengers of Bengaluru City-Mysuru and Mysuru-Bengaluru City on 12007/12008 Chennai Central- Mysuru Shatabdi Express.
New Brand of trains like Humsafar Express, Tejas Express, Antyodaya Express, Mahamana Express have been introduced on differential fare structure with additional facilities and special features on cost recovery basis. This is applicable only to these trains and affects limited passengers.
(b) & (c) There is no proposal for hike in passenger fares, at present. Indian Railways continue to incur losses every year by performing a variety of unremunerative services. These losses are mostly due to (a) Low ordinary second class fare, (b) Low Suburban and non-suburban season ticket fare, (c) Loss on essential commodities carried below cost, and (d) A variety of concessions granted on passenger ticket. Working of uneconomic branch lines, too, imposes a heavy burden on IR’s finances. A gap is thus created between the revenue income generated through these services and their running costs. The losses have burgeoned from a level of ? 7933 crore in 2004-05 to ? 35918.39 crore in 2015-16.
Evaluation of various alternatives / proposals for rationalization of the fare and freight structure is an on-going process.
Indian Railway continuously strives to improve passenger earnings through various measures including the following:
- Augmentation of ticket selling capacity through operation of Automated Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), ticket booking through mobile phones, utilizing the services of ticketing agents like Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks (JTBS), Station Ticket Booking Agents (STBA), Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) etc.
- Organizing intensive ticket checking drives including fortress checks etc.
- Augmentation of on-board capacity by attachment of additional coaches
- Running of special trains (including on special fares) during festivals and holidays, running of Suvidha trains, etc.
- Introduction of special measures to increase passenger earnings through schemes like booking of tickets under Tatkal Quota, Premium Tatkal Quota, Flexi-fare system, Suvidha trains on variable fare structure, etc.
In addition various freight segment initiatives have been taken to improve freight earnings; like Policy on Long Term Tariff Contract with key freight customers (LTTC), Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme in Traditional Empty Flow Direction (TEFD), Station to Station Rates (STS), etc.
Besides, initiatives for revenue generation from non-fare areas like station re-development, monetizing land along tracks, monetizing soft assets, advertising etc. have been taken by IR.
(d) Improvement to Passenger amenities on Indian Railways (IR) is a continuous process. Present day passengers expect visible and qualitative improvement in public utilities and amenities provided at the Stations. With a view to meeting the expectation of the passengers, Indian Railways is making all out effort to provide improved facilities at the stations including those located in small cities/towns. Indian Railways has more than 8000 Stations. It has always been the endeavour of the Railways to provide adequate amenities to the passengers at the stations. Certain amenities are provided at the time of construction of new stations based on anticipated volume of traffic. Amenities are further augmented from time to time with growth in passenger traffic handled at stations, based on the felt need, expectations of the travelling public and availability of funds.