Indian Railways News: Train travel is likely to become expensive in forthcoming days as passengers have to pay an additional ‘user fee’ in addition to the train fares at some major stations with high footfall. The announcement was made by railway board CEO VK Yadav. He asserted that the additional fee will be levied in order to attract investments as it will be used for the betterment of railway stations and modernise infrastructure. Also Read - 'Meri Saheli': Railways Launches Innovative Initiative For Security of Women Passengers in Trains
“Where the footfall is increasing we will charge it (user fee) there. We need it to provide world-class infrastructure,” VK Yadav reportedly stated. However, the amount that will be charged as ‘user fee’ has not been decided yet. Also Read - Good News For Commuters as Railways Plans to Convert 181 Passenger Trains to Express Ones
According to the reports of India Today, this additional fee will be levied on the 10-15 per cent of the total number of 7,000 stations, which means that around 700-1,000 railway stations will see a spike in fares. Also Read - Chhath Puja 2020: Railways Plans to Run 46 Special Trains For Festival | Check Complete List Here
Reports have claimed that the railway ministry has so far earmarked around 50 stations for redevelopment. Mumbai, Jaipur, Habibganj, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Bijwasan, and Anand Vihar are among the major stations expected to be covered under the redevelopment project.
Meanwhile, Yadav clarified that the user fee won’t affect the common man as rise in fare will be nominal.
On the other hand, in view of the heavy rush in several Special trains, the Railways has decided to run 20 pairs of clone trains on select routes from September 21. According to Railway officials, clone trains would be in addition to the 310 pairs of trains currently in operation.