Why has Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu gone ‘offline’?

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Published: September 10, 2016 12:11:10 PM

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is known to be very active on social media, responding to the tweets of railway users...

Interestingly, while Prabhu himself has been silent on the surge pricing, the Railway Ministry has been aggressively tweeting out charts and images to dispel myths about the system. (Reuters)Interestingly, while Prabhu himself has been silent on the surge pricing, the Railway Ministry has been aggressively tweeting out charts and images to dispel myths about the system. (Reuters)

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is known to be very active on social media, responding to the tweets of railway users, engaging with them frequently to make the common man feel connected and involved in the development of Indian Railways. According to the Delhi confidential report in Indian Express, Prabhu’s uncharacteristic silence after the recently announced flexi-pricing structure for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains, sparked speculation that the minister is avoiding a backlash on the social networking website.

The report, however, clarifies that once the Railway Minister cancelled his public engagements, it came to light that he is unwell and has been resting at home. Interestingly, while Prabhu himself has been silent on the surge pricing, the Railway Ministry has been aggressively tweeting out charts and images to dispel myths about the system. Railways has sent out a series of tweets, clarifying that the move will not affect the common man.

“142 trains out of about 12500 total trains (1.1% only) and 3200 Mall Express trains (4.4% only) run by Indian Railways will be chosen for this experiment. This will affect less than 0.15 million high end passengers out of total 23 million passengers carried by Indian Railways daily. Lower-end passengers are not affected by this experiment,” Railways has said.

Talking about the loss that it is occurring, Railways has said, “While the cost per passenger kilometre on Indian Railways was 73 paise, Indian Railways recovered only 37 paise. As a result of subsidisation of passenger services, Indian Railways bore a loss of Rs 33,490 on coaching services. According to the new “flexi fare system”, the base fare will rise 10% with every 10% of berths, sold subject to a ceiling.

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