BJP ally Shiv Sena slams rail fare hike, calls for rollback

BJP ally Shiv Sena has slammed the Narendra Modi government`s move to hike rail fares, saying the move will increase burden on Mumbaikars and local train passengers will suffer badly.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Updated: Jun 23, 2014, 10:52 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Mumbai: BJP ally Shiv Sena has slammed the Narendra Modi government`s move to hike rail fares, saying the move will increase burden on Mumbaikars and local train passengers will suffer badly.

In an editorial in party mouthpiece `Saamana`, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said, “If the Congress had hiked fares, the BJP would have been the first to oppose it. The BJP should not hike fares further and impose a burden on the common man. The Railways Minister has run a train over the public by increasing fares."

On June 21, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had said that he will speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and request him to roll it back.

"The fare hike is shocking. Sena MPs will follow up the issue to ensure that hike is called off," a Sena spokesperson quoted Uddhav as saying.

The poor cannot afford such a hike, Uddhav said. "If it`s not possible to withdraw it, then at least reduce it."

Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP MLA Vinod Tawde has tweeted saying the hike must be reconsidered.

"Rail fare hike is too taxing for Mumbaikars. We`ve requested Rajnath Singh to reconsider the proposal," Tawde tweeted.
In one of the biggest hikes, cash-strapped railways on Friday raised passenger fares by 14.2 per cent for all classes and freight rates by 6.5 per cent.

The fare hike would be felt acutely in Mumbai where the cost of season passes of local trains, the city`s lifeline, would go up two times or almost three-times on some routes.

The local trains are the lifeline for the over 2 crore people of the Mumbai metropolitan region. The city local services consist of three lines -- the Western, Central and Harbour lines, ferrying together over 70 lakh people per day.

As per the revised fares, effective June 25, a Rs 85 monthly season ticket (II Class) will now cost Rs 150, while a Rs 190 monthly pass will be priced at Rs 480. Similarly, the monthly season pass of Rs 795 for the first class has been revised to Rs 1,930. Likewise, a first class commuter with a monthly pass of Rs 1,740 will now have to shell out Rs 2,120 more for the same journey.

"Second class monthly season tickets fares shall be charged on the basis of 30 single journeys instead of around 15 single journeys charged currently," the Railways said in a statement. Fares of First Class monthly season tickets will be charged four times that of the Second Class monthly season tickets fares.