Railway fare hike inevitable - Dept. sources
The Railway Department will increase train fares to offset an annual
loss of Rs. 3,981 million as a result of the soaring world oil prices
and an accumulated loss for the past three decades, a spokesman for the
Railway Department told the Sunday Observer.
The annual loss the Railway Department has been increasing for the
past three decades. In 1997 the loss stood at Rs. 712 million and today
it has increased to Rs. 3,981 million, he said.
The soaring oil price and long accumulated debt payable by the
Railway Department are the main reasons for the loss. Loans have been
taken to purchase locomotives and compartments, he said.
The Railway Department has placed an order to purchase locomotives
and rail compartments worth over Rs. 3 billion in 2006. The loan will
have to be settled within a 20-year period. We have no alternative other
than to increase the train fares to reduce the Railway Department's
loss, he said.
A special committee has been set up to prepare a new train fare
formula which will not burden the railway commuters. With the submission
of the committee report the ministry will announce the new fare hike and
the effective date, he said.