Monday, June 23, 2014

Railway unions back fare and freight rate hike

Mamuni Das
Indian Railways employees' unions, representing over 13 lakh workers, have supported the fare and freight rate hike.

Many political parties such as Congress have slammed the BJP Government for increasing the train fares, in what they consider is a steep hike, timed ahead of Railway Budget.
"Do not play politics with railways fare hike,'' said Shiva Gopal Mishra of All India Railwaymen's Federation.
"Railway is the lifeline of our country. If people want trains to run, then they should be willing to pay higher fares," said Mishra.
On Friday, the railways had announced a fare hike which involved an almost 6.5 per cent increase in freight rates and 14.2 per cent increase in passenger fares.
He added: "Even now, rail fares are much cheaper than rickshaws, taxi charges and buses."
M Raghavaiah, general secretary of National Federation of Indian Railwaymen, echoed: "We support the fare hike proposed and kept on hold by Mallikarjun Kharge and implemented by this Government. This is need of the hour to improve the condition of railways."
Both these unions had supported the fare hike proposed by former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who lost his job after announcing the hike. "We had supported the fare hike during Dinesh Trivedi as well. But, probably the UPA Government had to agree to roll-back the hike due to coalition politics," said Raghavaiah.
In 2012, Dinesh Trivedi was ousted by his own party chief Mamata Banerjee after he proposed a fare hike. The passenger fare hike had to be partially rolled back.
(This article was published on June 22, 2014)

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