File photo of Mukul Roy
File photo of Mukul Roy
Business & Economy

Mukul Roy partially rolls back rail fare hikes proposed by Trivedi

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 22, 2012

Newly- appointed Railways Minister Mukul Roy today rolled back the hike in passenger fares proposed by his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi in the sleeper, suburban, ordinary second class, AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier classes.
Replying to the debate on the Budget proposals in the Lok Sabha, Roy said the proposals were being rolled back because they would affect the "aam aadmi" (common man), who travels by these classes.
Roy was sworn in as Cabinet Minister just two days ago and given Railways after Trivedi was forced to resign by the Trinamool Congress, to which both belong, because he had proposed to hike passenger fares for the first time in nearly 10 years.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Trivedi's predecessor in the Railways Ministry and now West Bengal Chief Minister, was extremely critical of the fare hike and today's announcement of a partial roll-back was widely expected.
"The proposal to increase fare by 2 paise per km, 3 paise per km and 5 paise per km in second class suburban and non-suburban and Sleeper class is a huge drain on the pocket of the masses. Similarly, increase in the fare of AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier, which is now patronised by the middle class, is also quite severe. I intend to give relief to the already over burdened common man by not effecting any increase in these classes," Roy said.
"Many members have expressed anguish over the proposal to hike passenger fares that would impact the aam aadmi. The concern of the common man is over-riding, even if it means biting the bullet of a different kind, the impact of the fare hike on the aam aadmi is huge," he said.
He, however, did not withdraw the hike proposed for AC 2-tier, First Class and AC I.  Roy also put on hold the expansion of the Railway Board proposed by Trivedi.
The increase proposed by Trivedi in passenger fares was by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class; 3 paise per km for mail/express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2 tier and 30 paise per km for AC I. Trivedi had also said that the fares would be rounded off to the next nearest five rupees and the minimum fares and platform tickets would  cost Rs. 5.
Later, the Lok Sabha passed by voice vote the vote on account and the relevant appropriation Bills as well as a resolution to adopt the recommendations of the second report of the Railway Convention Committee.