Aug 16, 2016

Parliamentary Panel calls for variable rail fare structure

New Delhi: To compete with airlines and boost earnings of the Railways, the Parliamentary Railway Convention Committee has recommended a rationalised variable fare structure.

In its report tabled in Parliament on Thursday, the panel however cautioned the Railway Ministry that the fare structure “should not be at the cost of passengers”.

The committee, headed by BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab also expressed concern over the gradual decrease in the passenger share of Railways. “The number of passengers in Railways in 2012-13 was 8,421 million, which has come down to 8,151.90 million in 2015-16,” the report noted.

In its submission, the Railway Board attributed lower passenger numbers to various factors, such as capacity constraints on major trunk routes, improvement in road infrastructure offering better and faster connectivity, gradual shift of passenger traffic to growth of metro rail projects, cancellations of trains due to agitations and natural calamities.