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Fare rollback brings back Western Railway, Central Railway target woes

Thursday, 26 June 2014 - 6:45am IST | Agency: dna

The thought of crossing tough targets by a wide margin is always a great one, mostly for under-performing government departments. Sometimes, the dream is too good to last.

On Tuesday evening, railway authorities in the city realised that the easy manner in which they would have overrun tough targets given to them, thanks to a whopping hike in season passes, was over. With the government scaling back the suburban fare hike to make it on par with long-distance fares, officials of both Western and Central railways said their projects are now around one-tenth of the calculations that were made when the original hike was announced last Friday.

A senior WR official said against they were expecting a rise of Rs450 crore in earnings from the suburban section, but now it would be around Rs44 crore. CR officials said the ratio would be somewhat similar with the rise in earnings being around 10-14%.

"The primary reason is that second class season ticket rates and, correspondingly, first class season ticket rates have gone up by 14.2%. But since there is no increase in the price of single journey tickets up to 80km, a major chunk of the rise is nullified because single journey tickets also form a sizeable part of the daily earnings at both CR and WR," said an official.

On Sunday, dna had reported how both WR and CR are expected to sail past tough targets thanks to the suburban fare hike bordering on anything between 100-130%.

Calculations based on the original Friday fare hike — keeping ticket sales till June 20 as a reckoner — CR's suburban earnings were to see a rise from Rs751.17 crore in the financial year 2013-14 to Rs1104.56 crore in the financial year 2014-15. This Rs353.39 crore corresponded to a 47% rise in earnings. Overall, CR officials said, the cumulative earnings for Mumbai division from suburban as well as long-distance trains would have seen a rise of Rs797.95 crore — from Rs2,392.74 crore in the last financial year to Rs3190.69 crore for the current financial year. CR's earnings from season passes was expected to go up from Rs373.45 crore to Rs662.35 crore, a jump of 77%.

On WR, the earnings from suburban passenger ticket sales were expected to go up by a massive 52%, from Rs678.73 crore in the last financial year to Rs1,035 crore for the current financial year. The season pass earnings would have got the biggest boost, with earnings expected to go up from Rs366 crore to Rs700 crore, a jump of a whopping 91%.

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