Railways may tweak flexi fare scheme: Minister
New Delhi: Union minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the flexi fare scheme of the Railways, which helped it earn an additional Rs 540 crore in less than a year, may be amended to ensure that it brings in revenues without taxing passengers.
"People have brought to my notice the issue of the flexi fare scheme. It could be made better in a way that it does not hurt people's (pockets) and also meets the revenue target," Goyal told reporters.
The Minister was responding to question on whether he had reviewed the flexi fare scheme after taking charge of the ministry earlier this month. Asked if there could be any amendment to the scheme, Goyal said, "There is a possibility of making some changes".
In reply to a question on prospective changes in the 'contentious' flexi fare system, Railways Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said, "We are yet to start review process of the flexi fare ticketing system. Whatever is decided, it would be in the interest of commuters."
The scheme, launched on September 9 last year and applicable to premium trains such as the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto, allows 10 per cent of the seats to be sold at normal fare and thereafter increasing it in phases by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold, with a ceiling of a 50 per cent rise.
Stressing on strengthening safety and security in trains, Goyal said, "Safety of passengers is the highest priority of Railways. We have planned to eliminate 5,000 unmanned level crossings in a time-bound manner in one-year. We have made it mandatory that all Railways Protection Force (RPF) personnel and TTEs be in official uniform while on duty to bring transparency."
To augment security at stations and coaches, the Railways would install CCTV cameras in coaches as well as at prominent stations in coming year, Goyal said, adding that the move would help in real-time monitoring of activities at stations and in coaches.