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Trivedi defends himself for hike in rail fare

New Delhi, Wed, 14 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 14 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Wednesday defended himself after his party launched a scathing attack on him over his proposal to hike the passenger fare in the railway budget.


Trivedi said that there was no question of TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee meddling in the affairs of the railway ministry.


"Mamata Banerjee did not know anything about it. This was my decision as a railway minister. She has never intervened in the railway affairs. Like all chief ministers, she has all the authority to talk about the projects of her state Bengal. But as far as interference is concerned I am sorry to say there is some misunderstanding among people. It's wrong to say that the railway is working from the writer's building. I as a railway minister have done what I thought was good for Indian railways," said Trivedi.


Railway passenger fares for the first time in eight years, snapping a populist trend to help mend the finances of a creaking network that is a bottlenecking growth in Asia's third-largest economy.


"If you will appreciate that for the last eight years nothing has been increased. Fuel prices have gone up so much and if you compare with road transport it is still much cheaper. We were getting into big trouble because the entire road passengers were moving on to the railways and believe me the railways would have just come to a grinding halt and I did not want the railways to come to a grinding halt," he added.


Trivedi further said that railways was getting into ICU and he tried to make it healthy otherwise even after paying the railway fare there would not have been a railway system.


He added that he had proposed measures to curb siphoning of money and added that the increase in the fare of platform tickets was nominal and that the amount was just rounded off.


"The revenue, like I said there are two components. One is rounding off, if the ticket is three rupees, you give five rupees most of the times, you don't get two rupees back. So that money does not go to the customer, nor it comes to the railways and somewhere in the system it is lost. So we felt in today's world lets round it off and round off in many cases has gone down also from 11 to 10 and from 6 to 5 also in some cases. All put together it is now going to give us 4000 crores," Trivedi added. (ANI)


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