Lucknow/New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Thursday termed Trinamool Congress (TMC) party's demand to remove Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi over the proposed rail fare hike as unfortunate.
"This is very unfortunate and such controversies should take place. At present, I would just like to say this much," Samajwadi Party spokesperson Ram Gopal Yadav told media in Lucknow.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Kolika Ghosh said her party is against the fare hike and every other policy that burdens poor people.
"Because of the 32 years of misrule in West Bengal, the state is reeling under the debt of two lakh three thousand crore. West Bengal is in a debt trap, and we feel this is a death trap for the poor. Our party's main issue is to work for the poor. This is the announced policy of our leader, Mamata Banerjee, that we should not take any step that burdens the poor and adds to their problems," Ghosh told media in New Delhi.
"This agenda is not from today; it is being followed since the party was formed 12 years back. So, we feel that any step taken against the poor is not right and with the hike in rail prices, the poor will be most affected," Ghosh added.
The demand for the sacking of Dinesh Trivedi was in response to his decision to hike passenger fares without consulting Mamata Banerjee or the TMC leadership. The latter felt that the measure was an anti-poor step.
Trivedi has, however, said that no one had asked him to resign.
Trivedi had in his maiden Railway Budget proposed a hike of one paise per km for suburban and ordinary second-class travel.
He also called for a fare increase for mail express and second class trains at three paisa per km; for sleeper class five paisa per km; for AC chair car, AC 3 tier and First Class by 10 paise per km; AC 2 Tier 15 paise per km; and AC I 30 paise per km.
He said the corresponding rationalization in minimum distance and fare chargeable in various classes has also been proposed.
The proposed revisions will have marginal impact on the fares. The increase in fares for suburban second-class passengers traveling 35 km will be Rs.2. For non-suburban second-class ordinary passenger traveling a distance of 135 km, increase will be Rs.4 only.
For second-class mail or express passenger traveling a distance of 375 km, the addition to the fare will be Rs.12 and that for a 750 km journey by sleeper class on mail/express train will be Rs.40. An AC 3 tier passenger traveling a distance of 530 km will be required to pay an additional Rs.57.
The increase for AC 2 tier and AC I passenger traveling over same distance will be Rs.84 and Rs.163 respectively. (ANI)
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