Soon, like flight fares, train fares to include ‘user charge’ at redeveloped, high footfall stations

The Indian Railways will soon start levying ‘user fees’ as part of train fares for the stations that have been redeveloped and those with high footfall in order to generate revenue to provide better facilities for passengers. Once it comes into effect, it will be for the first time that such charges are levied on rail passengers. The charges will be nominal and will be applicable in about 10-15 per cent of the 7,000 railway stations across the country. A very small amount of user charge will be levied and a notification will be issued stating the user charge for various stations, wherein some stations will be re-developed and some will be not. When the redevelopment of the stations gets completed, the money will go to the concessionaires. Till then that money will go to the railways for improving facilities across stations. It will be an affordable amount, but it is important to levy if we want to provide world class facilities similar to the airport development. Railways will not levy the charge across all the 7,000 stations but all major stations where the footfall of passengers will increase over the next five years. It will be done in about 10-15% of all our stations where they expect the footfall to increase. The Railways has plans to redevelop 50 railway stations and monetize its land. The redeveloped hubs will be called ‘Railopolis’. It will lease the land out for 60 years for commercial purposes. It is estimated that due to this, the railways will contribute 1-2% towards India’s growth.

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