Rail fare hike not to apply to suburban travel up to 80 km
In a revised order, the Railways also said that the fare hike in the unreserved segment shall come into force from 28 June as against 25 June 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. Though the rollback of 14.4 % hike, a day before its implementation, has giving a relief to the people of Mumbai but the move has drawn severe criticism from the leaders of Congress. They alleged that the ‘tailor made’ arrangement was made for their own political interest in Maharashtra.
Recently, the finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that the railway minister has taken a difficult but a correct decision. ‘The Indian Railways for the last few years have been running at a loss. The only way that Railways can survive is when users pay for the facilities that they avail,’ he said.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning a group of MPs from the BJP and the Shiv Sena met railway minister Sadananda Gowda in the national capital and expressed their displeasure and claimed that with the price hike nearly 75 lakh commuters in Mumbai will suffer every day.
Soon after the meeting, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said, ‘The railways minister assured us that feelings of Mumbaikars will be considered.’ And, surprisingly, the railway minister took no time in rolling back the price hike by evening.
The Shiv Sena is the BJP’s oldest ally and has been unsparing in its criticism of the 14.2% hike in train fares announced last Friday. The party has compared the hike to ‘a train running over the common man’.