New Delhi: As India gears up for the festive season, the Indian Railways started operating 392 festival special trains from Monday till 30 November, in addition to the special trains that are currently plying.
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However, some reports surfaced on various media websites which claimed that there will be a hike in rail passenger fare during the festival season, leading to criticism. Amid confusion and doubts prevailing over hike in rail passenger fare, the Ministry of Railways on Wednesday rubbished such news reports calling them ‘erroneous and misleading’.
The Railways has said that as per rules, the fare for special trains running during peak demand seasons like festival season and summer holiday seasons is different in comparison to those which run during off-seasons.
It further pointed out that the rates have always differed between the special trains that are plied in the festive season and the normal trains that run throughout the rest of the year.
”News regarding hike in rail passenger fare during festival season is misleading & erroneous. As per rules, the fare for special trains run during peak demand seasons like the festival season, the summer holiday season is different & higher than regular mail/express time-tabled trains,” a statement from the Railways said.
Festival special trains
These 392 special trains will run for destinations such as Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi and Lucknow to cater to the growing demand in the holiday period of Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Chhath Puja.
The Railway Board in order had said that these festival special trains will be operated at a speed of 55kmph and the fares applicable will be those of special trains.
Notably, the Indian Railways had suspended all regular passenger, mail and express trains indefinitely on March 25 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Later, services were resumed in a staggered manner from May 1, with Shramik Special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states.