Travel by train will be costlier from tomorrow as the hike of 14.2 per cent in passenger fares will come into effect.
Besides the steep increase in passenger fares, freight rate for all commodities will also go up by about 6.5 per cent from tomorrow.
Cash-strapped railways, which announced the hike on June 20 just three weeks before the presentation of the Rail Budget, expects to mop up Rs 8,000 crore from the move. The hike in the basic fares will apply even to the tickets issued in advance for journeys to commence on or after June 25.
According to a senior railway official, those who have purchased tickets earlier at pre-revised rates, will have to pay the differences either at booking offices or in trains. "In the case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, the difference in fares and other charges on or after June 25 will be recovered either by TTEs on the trains or by the booking or reservation offices before the commencement of journey by passengers," the official said.
There shall be no change in other charges like reservation fee and superfast surcharge, the official said, adding such charges, wherever applicable, shall continue to be levied additionally according to existing instructions. The train fare hike from June 25 will also affect the monthly season ticket (MST) holders.
Second class monthly season ticket fares of suburban and non-suburban trains will be on the basis of 30 single journeys instead of approximately 15 single journeys now. Fares of first class monthly season tickets will be charged four times the second class monthly season ticket fares as is done currently.
The hike in monthly tickets in local trains is facing strong opposition even from within the ruling NDA. In this context, a delegation of 10 Maharashtra MPs belonging to BJP and Shiv Sena met Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda demanding a rollback of hiked fares.
Railways incurs loss of about Rs 26,000 cr in passenger service annually even though more than two crore people travel daily on about 11,000 trains in the country. Much of the loss is covered by the revenue generated by the freight segment.
In the interim railway budget on 12 February, the then Minister Mallikarjun Kharge had set a revenue target of Rs 1.65 lakh crore. This includes Rs 1.06 lakh crore from goods and Rs 45,255 crore from passenger. The balance is from other sources such as coaching. The interim budget, presented just before the last Lok Sabha polls, had not increased the fares and freight rates.