The policy aims to ensure an increase in footfall, as well as generate employment for citizens
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As we entered a new decade, the Indian Railways announced a hike in its fares. Effective from 1 January 2020, the surge has been implemented across the railway network, excluding suburban trains.
According to an order issued by the railway ministry, ordinary non-AC, non-suburban fares have been increased by 1 paise per km of journey. In addition a two paise/km hike in fares of mail/express non-AC trains and a four paise/km hike in the fares of AC coaches has been announced. Premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto and train services like Vande Bharat, Tejas, Humsafar, Mahamana, Gatimaan, Antyodaya, Garib Rath, Jan Shatabdi, Rajya Rani, Yuva Express, Suvidha and other special trains have also been included in the new scheme. A good case in point is the Delhi-Kolkata Rajdhani where the hike is estimated to be approximately Rs58.
The new fares will not affect the tickets that have already been booked and there shall be no change in the reservation fee and superfast charges. As per a ministry statement, it is imperative to bring about a fare hike so as to expand passenger amenities and facilities at various railway stations and trains. It is only through this fare revision that fast modernisation of Indian Railways will be achieved.
In order to ensure that the increase in prices are not a burden for any class of passengers and keeping the issues of affordability in view, the fare hike has been implemented only over the non-suburban sections. Passengers belonging to suburban sections and season ticket holders who constitute 66% of the riders of Indian Railways, have been left out of this marginal hike. The ministry has also said that there will be no effect on catering charges.
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