The CPI-M on Thursday denounced the “flexi fares” announced by railways for Durunto, Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, saying this will be extended to other trains too soon.
The “flexi fares” provide for an increase in fares up to 50 per cent over and above the normal fares for 90 per cent of the seats on these three categories of trains, a CPI-M statement said.
“This scheme, however, excludes the highest class of travel AC I and Executive Chair, reflecting the pro-rich bias of the government,” said a statement by the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
“This demand-driven scheme is a mask to cover a sharp hike in fares for 90 per cent of the passengers,” the statement added.
Saying the Indian Railways played a very important role in unifying the country and was a public service for the vast majority of the people, the CPI-M said: “This cannot be treated as a profit-making enterprise of the government.
“If this model were to be made applicable to other public services like government hospitals, fire brigade and the police who will respond on the basis of demand at a given point of time, it would amount to a complete abdication of the government in providing public services to the people.”
The CPI-M said it “would like to caution the people that this is a prelude to extending ‘flexi pricing’ to other trains as well in the coming days” and demanded its immediate rollback.