New Delhi: The Government on Thursday quashed media reports suggesting Indian Railways has been charging extra fares from passengers.
Referring to some of the news reports in a section of media that Railways has been charging extra fares from passengers. This is misleading and not based on all the facts, clarified the Indian Railways.
Festival / Holiday special trains were started as per the long-standing practice to clear the rush. Festivals have been continuing and even today the harvest festival is being celebrated. This year there has been pent up demand on many sectors on which the festival trains were running. These festival trains have been continued to clear the rush.
The fare for such trains has been kept little higher since 2015. NOTHING NEW is being done this year. This is an established practice.
It may be noted that Passenger operations have always been subsidized by railways. Railways bears loss for travel by passenger. Railways has been running trains in covid times in most challenging circumstances. Running in low occupancy in many sections and still operating in public welfare.
Not only this, Railways has taken special care about Travel by those travelling by lowest fare in trains so that even in Covid times they bear the least burden.
In all the trains that are being run, besides other classes, the trains have a large number of 2S class coaches which has the lowest fare in the reserved category. 40 % of the passengers have travelled in 2S class in much better travelling conditions than pre covid, unreserved travelling situations.
As per the policy, 2S passengers, even in special fare case are NOT charged more than additional Rs 15.
Indian Railways is constantly increasing the number of trains in a graded manner. Full restoration of regular services of passenger trains, to pre covid times, is to be considered keeping in view a range of factors and operational circumstances.
Indian Railways had to stop running of regular trains due to Covid related nationwide lockdown on March 22nd, 2020 as a measure to counter the spread of Coronavirus. Trains are being added in a graded manner.
Even during challenging times of Covid, Indian Railways has operationalized almost 60 % of the Mail/Express trains as compared to the pre-lockdown times. 77% of these special trains have fares of regular trains. Around 250 trains daily are running as trains with special fares.
Total 1058 Mail/Express, 4807 suburban services & 188 passenger trains are presently in operation average on a daily basis.
Health situation of States, views of the State Governments, etc also need to be taken in into account before getting into normal operations.
Many trains are being run in spite of low occupancy for the benefit of people. The number of special trains has constantly increased in a graded manner. The situation is being constantly monitored.