Rail Budget 2013: Fare hike via surcharge likely

Rail Budget 2013: Fare hike via surcharge likely Zeebiz Bureau

New Delhi: The government is likely to announce a slew of passenger-friendly measures in the Rail Budget 2013 when it will be unveiled on Tuesday in Parliament.

Sources told Zee News there will be no direct increase in passenger fares but fuel adjustment charge and other surcharges may be levied. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had recently told reporters that the increase in diesel prices following the fare hike has negated the additional revenue of Rs 3,300 crore which Railways was expected to mop up.

The aam admi’s wishlist - better quality food, hygiene in toilets and safety for women passengers may get renewed focus in this year’s Rail Budget. As part of the new measures, the Railways may announce pay & use toilet services at 800 stations across the nation.

Importantly, Railways is planning to link train tickets with Aadhaar cards to tackle the menace of touts in bookings. "We are exploring the possibility of linking Aadhaar system with issuing of train tickets and if this happens, the tout menace will be effectively curbed in ticketing system," Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had said last week.

Passengers often do not get tickets in advance as bulk tickets are being cornered by touts. "I have recently met Nandan Nilekani and discussed the issue with him. Our aim is to ensure availability of tickets by genuine passengers as there are complaints of touts booking bulk tickets in the name of tour and travel operators," the minister said.

Tickets with bar codes which will be linked with Adhaar cards of the passenger will also be introduced.

With Agency Inputs