West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the railways should roll back dynamic pricing of train tickets, and pay more attention to the safety and security of travellers. Banerjee, a former railway minister, claimed that train fares were sometimes higher than flight tickets, following reports that ticket costs rose astronomically this week on various routes during the ongoing festive season.
”Sad to find that railway passenger fares are steeply increasing and even in Suvidha trains the fares are sometimes higher than air fares!! Where will common people go in case of emergencies? she said on X. ”Fare hike must be curbed and reduced! And attention must be given to safety and security issues,” Banerjee said.
The railways introduced dynamic pricing in 2016. Commenting on rising railway accidents in the country, she also questioned why anti-collision devices and other such measures that she had introduced during her railway stint, were not used to keep a check on mishaps. ”During my tenure as Railways Minister, I had introduced anti-collision devices and other anti-accident measures! Why are they not being used to avert the increasing number of train accidents, while anti-people fare regime continues unchecked? the Trinamool Congress supremo said. There have been reports of skyrocketing prices of train tickets on some routes connecting Bihar and Jharkhand with other important cities, amid the Chhath festivities.
Earlier this week, dismissing reports of a shortage of berths for passengers opting for non-AC coaches, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said there was nearly a three-fold increase in the number of special train trips this festive season as compared to last year. The railways is operating 6,754 additional train trips this festive season between October 1 and December 31 to clear the rush of passengers, as against 2,614 in the same period last year, he had said.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)