The rail budget is scheduled to be presented later this month. While it’s not clear if the Railway Minister has planned to hike train fare, it has emerged that Suresh Prabhu’s earlier decision to hike platform ticket from Rs 5 to Rs 10 has resulted in significant rise in income for the government.
An RTI reply has revealed that just between April and August last year (six months), the government earned Rs 57.63 crore from the sale of platform tickets.
The income is considerably higher than the previous year as in 2014-15, the earning for the entire fiscal was Rs 87.89 crore.
It’s expected that this year’s income from the sale of platform ticket alone, the railway ministry’s earning will cross over Rs 120 crore.
However, the activist who filed the original request, said that the ‘phenomenal increase’ in income from the sale of platform ticket hasn’t resulted in improvements in facilities at the stations.
He said, “The platforms across India continue to remain filthy, stinky and scene of utter disgust. This railway minister had promised us moon but said the money wasn’t there for him to spend on improving infrastructure. Now that we know the income from just one has shot up so high, I wonder where the money has gone if not spent on infrastructure development.”
In March last year, the government had hiked the price for platform ticket from Rs 5 to Rs 10.