The Narendra Modi government has come under pressure from its own MPs to reduce the hike in the suburban rail fare in Mumbai with 10 BJP and Shiv Sena MPs meeting Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda today to press for a roll back.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said Gowda assured them of a "positive" decision on their demand and added an announcement to this effect could be made in a few days. The recent hike in rail fares has led to a steep increase in the prices of monthly passes for Mumbai local trains. They sees the heaviest rush among all suburban rail networks and are a lifeline of Maharashtra capital and India's commercial hub.
The MPs told PTI that people in their area were deeply upset about the rise in monthly fares and Gowda "agreed" with them that the hike of over 150% in some cases was not good. "The minister said Railway Board officials will meet soon and a relief will be announced," another BJP MP Kapil Patil said.
The state is going to polls later this year and the leaders of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance do not want the hike to spoil their chances of winning the polls.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has publicly flayed the decision and demanded a rollback. Somiaya said Gowda has also assured them that more facilities will be provided to suburban travellers and security will be enhanced.
Railway minister promised to consider feelings of Mumbaikars: Kirit Somaiya
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said that Railway minister Sadananda Gowda has promised to consider the problems faced by commuters in Mumbai due to hike in railway fares. "The railway minister has assured us that the feelings of Mumbaikars will be considered," said Somaiya. Read more