This is part of a proposal that is being finalized by Indian Railways, which will soon be sent to the Cabinet for approval. It is being said that the user fee will vary according to the class of travel.
Indian Railways passengers, get ready to shell out more money for ticket fares! To avail state-of-the-art amenities of redeveloped stations as well as to help the national transporter in raising funds for redeveloping more railway stations across the country, railway passengers may have to pay a user fee of Rs 10 to Rs 35. According to sources quoted in a PTI report, this is part of a proposal that is being finalized by Indian Railways, which will soon be sent to the Cabinet for approval. It is being said that the user fee will vary according to the class of travel. Thus, the user fee would range between an amount of Rs 10 and Rs 35 with a higher price for railway passengers of AC first class.
Earlier, it was clarified by Indian Railways that user fees would be levied only across redeveloped railway stations and stations that have high footfalls. Of the 7,000 stations in India, nearly 700 to 1,000 railway stations fall in this category. This will be the first time in the history of Indian Railways that such a user fee will be charged from passengers. The User Development Fee (UDF) is charged from flyers at various airports and the fee varies from city to city.
According to a Railway Ministry spokesperson, the user fee can be referred as a small token of an amount which when collected from Indian Railways passengers, will be ploughed back into the improvement and upgradation of conveniences and facilities at the railway station. He further said the user fee amount is likely to be very reasonable and minimalistic so that for anyone especially common people, there is no burden. The amount will only be levied at those railway stations where the footfall is high and it will only be collected by the facility management when the station development work is complete, the spokesperson said. However, the matter is still under consideration and as of yet no final decision has been taken on the user charge amount, he added.
A few days ago, Railway Board Chairman and CEO, VK Yadav had said the national transporter will not levy the user charges across all 7,000 railway stations but all major railway stations where the passenger footfall is increasing over the next five years.