The Indian Railways, under the present BJP government, has taken a giant step in transforming itself from being a public service transporter to a self-sustainable system. Unfortunately, this has happened at the expense of passengers.
By using multiple tactics to increase revenue, without actually increasing ticket fare, Railways has indicated its intention to sideline passengers who mostly depend on the subsidised mode of transport — the poor.
Data makes this evident. For instance, between April 2013 and March 2014, a total of 842.5 crore passengers used the service, and Railways earned a revenue of Rs 36,532 crore. In 2017-18, meanwhile, passenger patronage plunged to 692.9 crore, but revenues shot up to Rs 40,409 crore.
That means, in the last four years, though the service lost a mammoth 150 crore passengers, its revenues shot up by Rs 3,900 crore. Read More