New Delhi: If you are travelling by train, get ready to pay more as the increased railway fares have come into effect starting Monday. The fare hike is expected to mop up an additional Rs 6,600 crore annually for the government. This is the first increase in rail fares in a decade's time as the last was during Nitish Kumar's tenure as railway minister.
The proposals will rake in an additional Rs 1200 crore between January 21 and March 31 this year, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had said while announcing the decision and did not rule out a hike in the freight tariff.
Breaking away from the populism of his predecessors, including Lalu Prasad and Mamata Banerjee, Bansal, who was made the Railway Minister in October 2012, told a press conference that the decision to hike the fares was "imperative" as lack of revision in the last 10 years has had a "telling effect" on the railway finances.
The fare hike also covered services like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto type trains. However, it exempted platform tickets from any hike. Bansal also proposed to do away with the practice of levying development charge on passenger tickets and all the chargeable fares will in future be in multiples of five.
As a result of the proposed hike, ordinary Second Class suburban fares for a distance of 35 km will go up by Rs 2 from Rs 8 to Rs 10, while in the non-suburban trains it will go up by Rs 5 for an average distance of 135 km.
In Sleeper Class, the increase would mean a hike of Rs 50 for a distance of 770 km from Rs 270 to Rs 320. In the case of AC Chair Car, for a distance of 387 km, the increase would be Rs 40 from Rs 345 to Rs 385. In the case of AC Three Tier, for a distance of 717 km, the fare will go up from Rs 724 to Rs 800, an increase of Rs 76.
Similarly, in the case of AC Two Tier, the increase would mean a hike of Rs 48 for a distance of 721 km, while for AC First Class it will be Rs 56 for a distance of 547 km.