Indian Railways trains fares to soon include ‘user charge’ for stations similar to flight fares; details

By: |
September 18, 2020 1:40 PM

Indian Railways will only levy the charge on all major railway stations of India where the passenger footfall will increase in the next five years.

The user fee will be for the railway stations that have either been redeveloped or have high footfall.

Get ready to pay airport-like user fee in train fares! In order to generate revenue to provide better facilities for passengers, user fees will be levied by Indian Railways as part of train fares. The user fee will be for the railway stations that have either been redeveloped or have high footfall. Recently, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav was quoted in a PTI report saying that once it comes into effect, for the first time such charges will be levied on Indian Railways passengers. The user fee charges will be nominal and they will be applicable in about 10% to 15% of the 7,000 railway stations across India. According to Yadav, when the station redevelopment works are completed, the money will go to the concessionaires. Till then that money will go to the national transporter for upgrading facilities across railway stations.

Indian Railways will only levy the charge on all major railway stations of India where the passenger footfall will increase in the next five years. Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry has plans to redevelop as many as 50 railway stations and monetize its land. The redeveloped and modernized hubs will be known as ‘Railopolis’, and it will lease the land out for a period of 60 years for commercial purposes. The station redevelopment scheme was first announced in the year 2016 wherein a total of 400 such railway stations were planned to be overhauled completely.

Earlier, the implementing agency of the station redevelopment project- Indian Railway Station Redevelopment Corporation (IRSDC) Limited handed over MP’s Habibganj station and Gujarat’s Gandhinagar station to private parties for development under the PPP model to complete both the station redevelopment projects by December 2020. So far, 94.05% of civil work has already been completed at Gandhinagar railway station, while 90% of work has been completed at Habibganj station. Additionally, for the redevelopment of three railway stations- Anand Vihar, Chandigarh and Bijwasan stations, commercial tenders have been floated and engineering, procurement and construction contracts have been awarded.

For the redevelopment of Nagpur, Amritsar, Sabarmati, Gwalior railway stations, Requests for Qualification were invited in December 2019 and a total of 32 applications were received till 26 June 2020, out of which 29 applications were shortlisted. For developing integrated facility management, IRSDC has also taken up five railway stations and 90 more stations are in the pipeline. The corporation is now working on Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station and NDLS in the national capital. The station modernization plan includes developing/redeveloping the existing or new stations as well as upgrading passenger amenities and facilities by new constructions/renovations.

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