On Diwali occasion there are special premium trains run by Indian Railway. The best things is the seat availability i.e. ticket have increase. The bad thing is that there is a huge rise in fare of trains. Most hike are in the fare of premium trains and especially tatkal ticket.
Hike of almost 5 times of normal train fare has been observed. Shockingly, in some instances the passengers are forced to pay more for 3rd AC class of train accommodation than what they would have paid if travel by flight instead of train.
Couple of examples would make it ultra clear. In normal days the third AC ticket from Delhi to Bhopal costs Rs 1045 only. But on Diwali it is costing Rs, 2500 i.e. the ticket is available at the premium of almost 1000 rupees.
Similarly, If you want to travel from Delhi to Chennai or Delhi to Kolkata, you will need to spend Rs 7,000 and 5,000 respectively. This is too high when compared to the cost of these travels in normal days. But due to huge demand of railway tickets during diwali and new year festivities the premium of tickets have gone up.
Following chart will give you more idea about the rise in third AC and second AC premium tatkal tickets.
|chart showing premium tatkal fare for travel between important cities in India|
Last month railway also introduced the flexi fare scheme in Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and Duronto train types in order to increase the income. In this scheme the fare tend to increase with occupancy of seats. It means as the seat availability reduces the fare of remaining seats go up. But this is proving to be a flop scheme since almost 95 percent of passengers have to pay more. Govt will review the scheme in 3 months time, but already the passengers are avoiding such trains for travel and booking tickets for normal trains.
Another important thing to note is that during the first 10-15 days of October, railway earnings have fallen to about 8 percent. The earning from sale of passenger tickets have come down from 1220.44 crore to 1179.68 crore during the same period. The number of passengers travelling by railway have come down from 23.34 crores to mere 21.87 crore.
Govt should take serious note of situation and put a cap on rise in train fare. In particular the hike in fares of AC class travel in premium trains need to be looked into seriously and immediately. Otherwise people would go for air tickets rather than train tickets in future.