Post stir, Rlys scraps plan to hike fare for avoiding crowd

KOLKATA: Following protests from passengers, the Railway authority on Tuesday announced withdrawal of the increased fare for MEMU, DEMU and intra-state trains.

"Extra fare charged for MEMU/DEMU and Short Distance Intra-State Passenger trains over Eastern Railway (ER) after re-introduction of Intra-State Passenger Services in Bengal on October 31, 2021 has been rolled back to its previous fare," said an official of ER.

According to sources, Indian Railways earlier this year had announced a hike in the fares including that of the DEMU, MEMU and short distance intra-state passenger trains to discourage huge crowds of passengers in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

The minimum fare which was Rs 10 before the announcement, shot up to Rs 30. Daily commuters in crucial sections like Lalgola and Sealdah, Katwa and Azimgunj, Kulti to Burdwan, to name a few, were facing financial difficulties in travelling.

Following the resumption of local train services in the state on 31 October, the commuters started their protest against the fare hike of these trains at some places.

"Due to ongoing public obstruction at Jalalkhali Halt station in Rananghat – Lalgola section of Sealdah division on November 02, 2021, the 03103 Sealdah-Lalgola Special scheduled on November 02, 2021 and the 03104 Lalgola-Sealdah Special scheduled on November 03, 2021 will remain cancelled," point out the ER official.Meanwhile, South Eastern Railway (SER) has decided to increase the local train services from 48 to 104 by November 8, 2021.

Out of these, 51 suburban trains will run in up direction and 53 trains will run in down direction. SER's local train services will be increased to 147 subsequently.

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