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News Entry# 288419
  
Dec 12 2016 (18:29)  Railways mulling fare hike for safety fund (www.newindianexpress.com)
News Entry# 288419     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita*^  35859 news posts
Following refusal from the union finance ministry on its proposal of a special safety fund, Railways is looking at increasing fares in a bid to raise resources. The proposal said that a safety cess will be levied to generate funds for strengthening track and upgrading signalling system and elimination of unmanned level crossings among other safety-related works to prevent mishaps.
Sources claimed that earlier Railway minister Suresh Prabhu had written a letter to the finance ministry seeking Rs 1,19,183 crore to create the special Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh for undertaking various safety works. However, the proposal did not find much favour with the Finance Ministry and it asked the Railways to raise resources on its own by raising fares.
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have been several incidents of derailments on almost regular basis – two in quick succession in the recent past causing heavy casualties. Experts say these mishaps have taken place due to the lack of upgrading and proper maintenance of track and signaling system.
A railway ministry official said that the finance ministry agreed to provide only 25 per cent and suggested that Railways raise 75 per cent resources itself for the special safety fund.
β€œIn fact the railways is not in favour of raising fares at this point when passenger bookings are falling and fares of AC-2 and AC-1 are already on higher side. However, the ministry is left with no option after comment from the finance ministry,” a source said.
According to the plan, the cess on Sleeper, Second Class and AC-3 will be higher while it will be marginal for AC-2 and AC-1. A final decision on raising fares is yet to be taken as modalities are still being worked out, sources added.
The basic thrust in the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh proposal is to go for modern signalling system and elimination of all vulnerable unmanned level crossings to prevent accidents. Since majority of accidents happen at unmanned level crossings it is essential to eliminate those level crossings through construction of road over bridges and under bridges.
Since Railways has decided to increase the average speed of trains, it is important that rail track and rail bridges are also strengthened along with signalling upgrade.
Box: Passengers suffer as trains delay
Passengers continue to suffer as about 90 trains were delayed on Sunday whereas, 28 were rescheduled and 4 others were cancelled due to prevailing fog conditions in Delhi. Earlier on Saturday, at least 101 trains were running late (arriving late in Delhi) whereas, 18 others were rescheduled and seven others were cancelled due to fog.
Passengers suffer as trains delay
Passengers continue to suffer as about 90 trains were delayed on Sunday whereas, 28 were rescheduled and 4 others were cancelled due to prevailing fog conditions in Delhi. Earlier on Saturday, at least 101 trains were running late (arriving late in Delhi) whereas, 18 others were rescheduled and seven others were cancelled due to fog.
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