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Railways rules out rollback of flexi fare scheme

New Delhi: Senior railway officials today ruled out any rollback of the flexi fare scheme.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

Under the scheme, applicable in premium trains such as Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi, the base fare increases by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold, subject to a prescribed maximum limit.

There was, however, no change in the existing fare for first AC and Executive Class tickets.

One of the officials further said that the flexi fare scheme is only applicable in just 1.5 per cent of mail and express trains — 168 out of 12,500.

He also refuted reports that due to the flexi fare scheme, seats in many premium trains remained vacant.

The railways had on September 9, 2016 introduced the flexi fare scheme.

But on December 19, 2016, the railways started to provide 10 per cent rebate on any seat left vacant after the preparation of the reservation chart, done a few hours before a train is to depart.

Earlier on July 20 this year, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report highlighted that tickets on the Indian Railways’ premium trains were much higher as compared to airfares.

Coming down heavily on the flexi fare scheme, the CAG report said, “For the 120 advance reservation period (ARP) of 120 days, travel by air was found to be cheapest mode in 17 directions of travel. In the remaining nine directions though, the air fare was higher and the difference in fare was only up to Rs 600.”

The railways will soon float a tender for procuring CCTV cameras for 6,000 stations and will install GPS in its premium trains to know the running status real time, the official said.



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