BJP criticized on 'surge pricing' in train fares
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 10: An announcement from the Indian Railways to introduce surge pricing in its three premium trains — Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi — from September 9 has come under sharp criticism from the Congress and the AIUDF in Assam. The leaders of the two parties say that the anti-poor decision is going to hike train fare by 10 per cent to 50 per cent, barring the first 10 per cent seats.
In a statement issued to the press today, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora said: “The people of Assam, especially those keep travelling between upper and lower Assam, will be the worst affected by this system of pricing. These three trains are the ones being travelled by people who can’t afford to travel by air. However, the latest decision taken by the Railways is set to affect the middle class and lower middle class people. Is this the change Prime Minister rendra Modi has been talking about all along? The decision taken by the Railways leaves little difference between air and train travel. By taking such an anti-people decision, the government has denied the poor their right to travel by fast train.”
The AIUDF has also criticized the Centre for, what it said, the anti-people hike in train fares. In a statement issued to the press today, AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal said: “The decision taken by the Indian Railways is to affect the middle and lower middle class people the worst. People who can’t afford to travel by air prefer to travel by these three fast trains. However, the latest decision taken by the government is set to affect them. It will burn their pockets.”
Taking cues from the aviation sector and app-based taxi service providers, the department said on Wednesday last that flexi fare pricing (in reality surge pricing) will be introduced in these three trains based on which the fil fares will increase by 10 percent with every 10 percent of berths sold.
It means except those who book early, others will have to pay a premium to the floor price of the ticket.