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Indian Railways hikes fares of non-suburban trains up to 4 paise/km

The Indian Railways announced a fare hike up to 4 paise/km, across its non-suburban network yesterday. The new fares will be effective from January 1, 2020 (today).

 The fare of ordinary and Mail/Express Non-AC classes were hiked by 1 paise/km and 2 paise/km respectively. The AC classes saw a hike of 4 paise/km.

The suburban fare and season ticket price were kept unchanged, keeping the “affordability concerns of daily commuters”, the Ministry of Railways said.

The move is to “expand passenger amenities and facilities at various stations and trains”, the Railways said in its statement.

“Further, the burden of 7th Pay Commission on Indian Railway has necessitated rationalisation of fares,” the statement added.

The fare hike is also applicable to premium trains such as Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto. However, it won’t be applicable to already booked tickets.

Despite launching trains such as Vande Bharat Express and Tejas Express with relatively higher fares, the Indian Railways wasn’t doing well in terms of business. In 2017-18, the Railways recorded its worst ever operating ratio (98.44%) in a decade, according to a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report.

The previous hike on rail tickets were announced in 2014-15, when fares of all classes of trains were raised by 14.2 per cent and freight charges by 6.5 per cent.

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