Currently, railways face losses of about Rs 15,000 crore due to Mumbai suburban & around Rs 10 lakh owing to single Mumbai local services.
Mumbai: Even as railways gear up to build maintenance facilities for air-conditioned trains to the tune of Rs 200 crore, officials have said that unless Delhi Metro fares based on time validity are applied, the project will run into a huge loss.
Currently, railways face losses of approximately Rs 15,000 crore due to Mumbai suburban and around Rs 10 lakh owing to single Mumbai local services. In their “Pink Book”, railways have made a combined allocation of Rs 200 crore to both Central and Western Railway (CR and WR) to upgrade their existing maintenance facilities to include 47 trains under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III.
An official on condition of anonymity said, “We have started identifying land that we already own to bring in a facility that will be able to maintain the 47 rakes that will be air-conditioned, under MUTP III.”
Another official said, “The issue is that we will have to improve maintenance facilities for air-conditioned trains once they are procured and up and running on the lines. However all this will be in vain if railways are not allowed to charge ticket fares like the ones we see on Delhi Metro.”
Delhi Metro fares have a time-validity i.e. the ticket automatically loses its validity even if the commuter remains inside the Metro system. Fares akin to first class card tickets and season tickets have been suggested. “These suggested fares cannot be implemented as they are too low,” the official said.
Ex-member of the Divisional Rail Users Committee (DRUCC), Nirmal Jain, said, “It is a fact that fares should be increased but the fares of air-conditioned trains should not be raised beyond the reach of the common man.”