Minister stalls Kolkata Metro tariff revision

Kolkata, Oct 15 : Hours after the Kolkata Metro Railway formally announced that the fares would be raised Oct 18, Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury stalled the move saying there was a need for review the increased tariff.

In a media release in the evening, the Metro authorities had given details of the revised fare structure that showed the rates increasing upto two and half times on certain stretches.

However, Chowdhury intervened and announced the rates would remain the same for now.

"After Diwali (Nov 2), we will review the rates. The tariff announced in the evening was effected by the railway board which took into consideration the input cost, the corresponding fares in Delhi Metro. But I am aware of the financial capability of the people in Kolkata.

"Delhi and Kolkata should not be compared. Per capital income in Delhi is higher than in Kolkata. The quality of service provided by the Delhi Metro is also better. In Kolkata Metro there are 17-18 rakes which are non-airconditioned. The fares will increase. But not now. We will review the fares and then announce the rates," he said.

Apparently targeting the previous railway ministers (Lalu Prasad, Mamata Banerjee, Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy) "for not raising metro fares in small amounts", Chowdhury said: "As the rates have not been revised for 11 years, we now incur a daily loss of Rs.70 lakh in running the services".

Kolkata Metro, the country's first such Stretching across 25.135 km on the city's busy north-south axis from Dumdum to Kavi Subhash, ferries around 6.5 lakh commuters on weekdays and nearly four lakh passengers on weekends.

--IANS (Posted on 16-10-2013)

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