Rail fare hike plan awaits Sonia’s green flag
Sources said with the Congress party taking over the rail ministry after a long gap, the reform zeal is back, and all possible ways are being explored to resuscitate the organisation whose operating ratio has deteriorated sharply in the last couple of years. Only political considerations can come in the way of implementing the proposals firmed up by rail ministry officials and so, the move to seek approvals of Gandhi and Singh for the fare hike.
The railways was expecting to bring down its operating ratio to 85% this fiscal, but is likely to end up with an unhealthy 90%, owing to falling freight traffic and non-revision in fares for most part of the year.
Meanwhile, to depolitise the decision on rail fares, railways has finalised the contours of the proposed Rail Tariff Authority on fare rationalisation. It is expected to be a five-member body headed by a chairman. The authority was mooted by former railway minister and Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi in his rail budget 2012-13.
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