Seven days after the fire at Kurla that caused major travel disruptions to Central Railway (CR) suburban services, making the commuter for Mumbaikars a nightmare, an NGO has written a letter to the concerned authorities asking for a rebate on fares of three days.
NGO Athak Seva Sangh states that it’s not the first time that passengers have suffered financial losses due to negligence by the railways, and in all this time, never have the railway authorities thought of compensating passengers. However, after the fire, Athak Seva Sangh believes rail authorities must provide rebate to passengers for the shoddy service.
Anil Galgali, chairman of Athak Seva Sangh, said, “Services were hampered due to the fire at the signal system at Kurla, which inconvenienced the passengers. This set in motion chaos that extended to the suburbs largely due to inadequate measures by the railways. Apart from causing physical and emotional stress, the events caused immense financial loss by virtue of loss of wages and salaries to a lot of passengers.”
As per the contents of the letter, it argues that since MTNL, a government entity, has adopted a policy of rebate, why can’t the railways follow suit? “If MTNL can provide rebates when they are at fault, Railways too should follow the same when they are at fault. We will approach the consumer court if we do not receive a reply from them within 30 days of our letter,” said Galgali.
Railway authorities, however, don’t seem keen in taking any positive step regarding the letter. According to them, fares are already subsidised for season tickets. Subodh Jain, general manager, CR, said, “I don’t think that we should provide rebate for the inconvenience caused to season ticket holders. We have a policy in place to refund money to card ticket holders if trains are stopped or cancelled. We already charge very less money for season tickets. Since this request pertains to the railway board, the board will decide regarding the rebate.”