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Mumbai: Railways rue loss of revenue with fare rollback

Both Central and Western railways have had to revise their expected earnings after the railway ministry announced that the suburban rail fares wouldn’t be hiked steeply

While there is a sigh of relief among commuters regarding the rollback of the fare hike, railway authorities are none too pleased at having to miss out on a huge chunk of potential revenue that they could have raked in. Officials computed the tentative fares yesterday (see box); these fares will be applicable from June 28 in the ticketing systems for suburban trains.

Loss of revenue
Speaking to mid-day, many railway officials couldn’t hide their disappointment at the government’s decision to roll back the earlier fares which had caused chaos in the city. “Our expected earnings will drop now that the hike has been rolled back,” said a Western Railway (WR) official, on condition of anonymity.

WR earned close to Rs 670 crore in the last financial year and was expecting to earn nearly Rs 1,035 crore after the fare hike. After the revision in fare structure, its target income now stands at Rs 850 crore. CR, which raked in Rs 750 crore in the previous financial year, and was expecting to earn close to Rs 1,100 crore through the hiked fares, has now revised its target to Rs 970 crore.

Bonanza
Both divisions sold a massive number of season passes, especially on Tuesday CR sold 23,513 and WR sold 36,951. The average daily sale of these yearly tickets was not more than five. Officials claim the revenue generated will be used for smaller projects, like foot over-bridges, raising and extending platforms, escalators, etc. However, the money collected will first go to the finance ministry, from where it will be allotted to the Railways.

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