Railway passengers and organizations alleged that this work was done in order to adjust the losses suffered by the railway department in the days after the Covid pandemic. Their complaint is that although the speed of the train has not been increased, no special facilities have been provided, only the fare has been increased.
South Western Railway Passengers Union Secretary Rohit S. Jain spoke to Vijaya Karnataka Web’s sister organization Times of India about this. He has clarified his allegations with examples. The fast passenger train between Hubli and Bangalore City is the lifeline of the passengers of this region. Thousands of passengers travel every day on this train that connects the state capital and North Karnataka. This train, which was a fast passenger train before Covid, was converted into an express train by the South Western Railway Division.
The fare of train number 17391 and 17392 has almost doubled after covid. However, this train will stop at all 31 stations on its route as usual. The speed is also the same as before. The same applies to trains between Hubli – Chitradurga and Hubli – Araseikere. Originally passenger trains, these have now been converted into express trains. Now the train between Vijayapur – Mangalore has been labeled special. Thus, its fare has also increased by one and a half times in the last three years.
As per rules special trains run only for 6 months to 1 year. Thus, the South Western Railway Division is running a special train as per the demand of the passengers and charging extra fare. If you ask why this is the case, the railway officials compare it with the fare of the bus. However, there is no difference in travel time and facilities between the regular passenger train and the now-express branded train. The train stops at the same number of stations as before. Thus, the passenger forum alleged that these are fake express trains.
Prof. who travels every day from Gadag. Bhargav H. K. He also makes the same argument. They say injustice is being done to the poor commuters of North Karnataka. Hubli – Tirupati – Hubli train was fast passenger before covid. But, now this train is named as Passenger Special. 07657 and 07658 fares are being collected from the passengers of these trains for super fast train.
Now the Solapur – Gadag – Solapur Demu train is a normal train and is also labeled as Express. They claim that passengers are being charged high fares.
Sunil Kulkarni, President of Kalyan Karnataka Consumers’ Forum Kalaburugi, who has given information about the same issue with statistics, said that the Railway Department has given information about this openly in the Lok Sabha and on its website. The Railway Department has increased its percentage. 100 only per cent of the cost. Only 40 percent are getting income. Thus, the Railway Department has decided to increase the revenue without increasing the fares. Due to this, after the Covid, the railway department across the country. It is explained that 10% of the trains have not been restarted at all.
Now the percentage of welfare Karnataka only. 50 percent passenger trains have not started. The situation has become such that passengers inevitably travel in express and super fast trains. Thus, trains are not stopping at small railway stations. Along with this, general and sleeper coaches have also been reduced. AC coaches have been increased.
When contacted Anish Hegde, Chief Public Relations Officer of Hubli Division of South Western Railway, he only said that the ticket fare is being collected from the passengers as per the policy of the Railway Board.
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