Partial rollback: Rail fare hike not to apply on suburban journey

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New Delhi, June 24: In a partial rollback, the Railways on Tuesday announced that the recent hike of 14.2 per cent in passenger fares will not apply to second class suburban journey upto 80 kms, a decision that will give relief to lakhs of travellers mainly in metro cities.

In a revised order, the Railways also said that the fare hike in the unreserved segment shall come into force from June 28 as against June 25 when the increase will be implemented otherwise. Railways also gave some relief to monthly pass holders by reverting to 15, instead of 30, the number of trips for which they will have to make payment for travelling unlimited times in a month.

The revision to the June 20 notification came hours after the MPs from ruling NDA belonging to Maharashtra met Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda and demanded a rollback in the hike.

A cash-strapped railways had announced on June 20 an increase of 14.2 per cent in passenger fares and 6.5 per cent in freight rates, just three weeks before the presentation of the Rail Budget. The revised rates will come into effect from Wednesday.

The hike will not apply to second class suburban journey upto 80 kilometres

"There shall be no increase in second class suburban ordinary fare upto 80 kms," said a Railway notification issued today. This will give relief to lakhs of people travelling daily in metros like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.

As per the other amendment, the monthly season ticket (MST) holders will now have to make payment for 15 trips for travelling unlimited times during a month. The Railways had earlier said that the pass holders will have to make payment for 30 days. However, the hike of 14.2 per cent in the fares will apply to the MST.

"Second class monthly season ticket (MST) fares of suburban and non-suburban trains will be on the basis of 15 single journeys instead of 30 as was announced on June 20," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

The official said those who have purchased monthly tickets earlier at pre-revised rates, will not have to pay the difference in the fare. Travellers, who have booked tickets earlier for premium trains, will not have to pay the difference in fares. However, for other trains, passengers will have to pay the difference either at booking offices or in trains.

"In the case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, the difference in fares and other charges on or after June 25 will be recovered either by TTEs on the trains or by the booking or reservation offices before the commencement of journey by passengers," the notification said. There shall be no change in other charges like reservation fee and superfast surcharge, the official said, adding such charges, wherever applicable, shall continue to be levied additionally according to existing instructions.

The train fare hike from June 25 will also affect the monthly season ticket (MST) holders. Second class monthly season ticket fares of suburban and non-suburban trains will be on the basis of 30 single journeys instead of approximately 15 single journeys now.

Fares of first class monthly season tickets will be charged four times the second class monthly season ticket fares as is done currently.

PTI

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