User fee may kick in at 120 railway stations

User fee may kick in at 120 railway stations

NEW DELHI: The government is likely to take a final decision on levying user charge at certain railway stations in the next two weeks, sources said. The railway ministry is proposing the charge to be between Rs 10 and Rs 50 for different classes of travellers with the passengers travelling in first class paying the maximum charge.
Officials said while the Cabinet will decide on the charge, the railway ministry will take the call on how many stations will be covered under this scheme. In the first phase, the charge would be applicable in nearly 120 big stations including New Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Mumbai), Nagpur, Tirupati, Chandigarh, Gwalior, Puducherry and Sabarmati.
Sources said the bid dates for two major stations – New Delhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – have been extended till December 18 and 15 respectively. Collection of user fees will be one of the assured revenue streams for private players who will make massive investments in the redevelopment of major railway stations. “There will be more and good response, if the bidders know what the user charge will be,” said a source.
TOI has learnt that the platform tickets at all these stations may also go up marginally and in the case of passengers, the charge would be included in the fare. Sources said deliberations are on whether the user fee for passengers in unreserved category and those taking suburban trains would be minimal or would be exempted from paying such a fee.
The railway ministry had earlier said the collected amount will be utilised to improve the passenger facilities at these major stations.

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