Rail fares hiked; Mamata upset, Dinesh Trivedi to resign?

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Dinesh Trivedi
New Delhi, Mar 14: The Railway Budget 2012-13 presented by the Union Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi created a ruckus in his own party when Trinamool Congress leaders expressed their disappointments with the proposed fare hikes in the budget. According to sources, Trivedi soon may resign from his post as his budget upset the party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhopadhaya has been quoted as saying, "Trinamool Congress wants withdrawal of rail fare hike." Meanwhile, the railway minister claimed that he proposed the hikes in fare after considering the needs and demands of the Indian railways. During an interview with a private TV channel, Trivedi also claimed that Mamata Banerjee has never interfered in his works.

"Without this small rise in fares, we cannot improve amenities and provide cleaner or safer trains. Considering the problems of 'aam admi', the rail fare has not been hiked steeply," said Trivedi.

The minister, while tabling his rail budget 2012 in the Parliament on Wednesday, Mar 14, announced that Rs 12 will be hiked over 300 km journey and ticket fares will be increased by 3 paise/km for express trains,5 paise/km for sleeper class, 2 paise/km for second class, 30 paise/km for 1st AC and 10 paise/km for 3rd AC.

Train ticket fares have been hiked after a long period of 10 years, though it was not a steep hike.

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