Trivedi’s rail fare hike rationale absurd: Trinamool MP

March 22nd, 2012 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) On the day when newly sworn-in Railway Minister Mukul Roy announced a roll back in the rail passenger fare hike in the Lok Sabha, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien termed former minister Dinesh Trivedi’s arguments on the hike as “absurd”.

O’Brien Thursday fiercly attacked party colleague Trivedi, calling his argument of the hike being necessary for safety being a gimmick.

Participating in the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the rail budget, he said instead of generating revenue for railway safety by hiking passenger fares, the railways should focus on its freight business to earn more revenue.

“Increasing passenger fares in the name of improving rail safety is absurd and the argument borders on gimmickry,” O’Brien said.

“Rs.4,000 crore for rail safety is a fair target but this should be achieved without upsetting passenger fare structure … Railways need to look at freight business,” he said.

He suggested that railways should look at innovative measures to generate revenue rather than increase fares for meeting its safety requirements.

Talking to reporters earlier in the day, Trivedi had said that freight tariff can not be hiked without limit, and subsidies can’t be given on passenger fares without limit either.

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