Mumbai rail authorities want fare hike for better maintenance of assets

Mumbai: Rail authorities in Mumbai want fare hike for better maintenance of assets like tracks, rails, signals and overhead cables. On November 5 there was another case of rail fracture that affected punctuality of local trains.

Railway Ministry has asked the CR authorities to chalk out an immediate plan to tackle maintenance and technical issues.

Train halt
File pic

The problems faced by the 42 lakh rail commuters of Central Railway will now be addressed by the Railway ministry in Delhi. After yet another case of technical snag, this time rail fracture near Dockyard Road station on November 5, the railway ministry called the CR authorities to explain reasons.

Ironically on the same day the General Manager of CR, SK Sood apparently once again stated the need for a fare hike to balance out with other modes of transport in Mumbai.

On Wednesday afternoon, there was a rail fracture – a crack on rail tracks – on platform 2 of Dockyard Road station. "This happened at 3.40pm and was rectified at 3.52pm. There were no cancellations," said AK Singh, PRO, Central Railway.

However, this led to chaos on the two-line Harbour section where trains begin to run late with delay of 10 minutes and more. On Tuesday the pantograph of one of the long distance trains’ got stuck which resulted in cancellations and delays. Earlier last week there was major derailment of a long distance train at Kalyan, which had created lot of trouble for the commuters.

"The Railway minister has asked for an immediate action plan for these recurrences of technical failures from the Central Railway authorities,” said MP Kirit Somaiya. The Central Railway had recently proposed to carry out mega blocks even on Saturday's as they were facing time crunch for carrying maintenance works.

Moreover, the same authorities have been stating the fall back of fare hike earlier this year in the budget, has resulted in severe losses to tune of over Rs 700 crore annually. This lack of funds has resulted in problems in carrying out maintenance work efficiently.

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