In 2014-15, when a 14.2% fare hike was effected across the board, the move was largely rolled back for suburban network following the protests from Shiv Sena.
Get ready to may more for suburban travel on Indian Railways! Following the marginal fare hike in Indian Railways passenger fares recently, there is likely to be another round of increase in fares. This time, the suburban network is likely to be included, which was left untouched till now. According to sources quoted in an IE report, a marginal increase in the suburban network is currently being discussed and the details are being worked out, however, no timeline has been decided as of yet. In 2014-15, when a 14.2% fare hike was effected across the board, the move was largely rolled back for suburban network following the protests from Shiv Sena.
According to the sources quoted in the report, the fare hike move is being mulled to normalise periodic fare hikes as an organic move by a public transporter like the Indian Railways. Officials quoted in the report said that the current round of railway fare hikes has been designed to not pinch the common man. The suburban network, mainly in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, has seen Indian Railways suffering an annual loss of Rs 1,810 crore.
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According to the report, the total passenger business pie is of around Rs 51,066 crore. However, every year, the national transporter suffers a “coaching loss” or loss on account of under recovery of costs to the tune of Rs 35,038 crore. This is the amount of money that Indian Railways should have at least earned from passenger business if it were to operate with commercial motives. Regarding senior citizen concessions, the national transporter foregoes revenue to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore per annum.
The recent fare hike, from 1 paise to 4 paise per km, does little to alleviate the ailing finances of Indian Railways. Indian Railways stands to earn an extra amount of Rs 2,300 crore from the decision notified recently. In suburban and local train operations, Indian Railways suffers a loss of around 41 paise per rupee it spends to run the show. Indian Railways loses 33 paise for every rupee it spends for the unreserved general class in regular trains. The loss is the highest in air-conditioned first class, where Indian Railways is unable to recover around 71 paise per rupee of the cost incurred for the operations, the report said.