The railways spends Rs 113 crore for every service but earns approximately a mere Rs 60 lakh.
Mumbai: Running a single service itself is costing the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) fortunes, thereby compelling it to propose a rise in suburban railway fares by 50 per cent in the fare timetables in different variations. A single service is costing the MRVC a loss of Rs 53 lakh, which makes it a large amount considering that one train delivers eleven services.
The railways spends Rs 113 crore for every service but earns approximately a mere Rs 60 lakh. According to officials, the overall losses incurred for running the Mumbai railways has gone from Rs 1,400 crore to nearly Rs 1,600 crore. This comes when the railways is grappling with earning some revenue from non-ticketing areas like advertising revenue from hoarding on platforms. In fact, both central and western railways have begun charging commuters with one rupee for using the toilets.
Railway officials are of the view that Mumbai suburban has always been a peculiar case but with the competitive metro and its demands for competitive fares, it is time that fares for the city are increased. An official said, “The railways has been bearing the brunt of running Mumbai local for more than 50 years now, since the expansion of far off suburbs has been putting stress on our resources.”
In another proposal, the railway has said that it should be allowed to increase the first class fares specifically as more commuters in the past four years have begun shifting to the city.
Railway activist Nirmal Tikamgarh said, “There should be a middle ground somewhere as the railways can’t always suffer losses but at the same time the common man and their needs should be considered.” He further added, “I think the state and railways should come up with a revenue model for the railways and stick to it, only then will the pressure be off both the commuter and the railways.”