New Delhi: Indian Railways upgraded 48 passenger & express trains to superfast category, so that it can collect more from passengers travelling in those trains.
“We found these 48 trains reach their destinations with maximum three hours delay. We have upgraded them to superfast category,” said one railways board official on the unanimous decision railways board took today.
When we asked, is this done just to collect superfast premium charges from the passengers? the board official said, “No, not at all. Actually, this should have been done long time back. In fact, these 48 trains were already running like superfast trains, but we were not charging anything extra from passengers. Due to few accidents that happened recently and then railway minister got changed, this decision was pending for approval for quite some time.”
The board official added, “Do not question about delays. Even Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto express trains run with delays. The passengers travelling in them never complain about it. Train delays and IRCTC website running slow, every rail passenger who use our service knows about it. Usme kaunsa naya baat hai”.
While sharing with us the ‘reason’ behind the delay, he said, “The delays are done deliberately for our passenger’s safety, also to help people reach stations ‘comfortably’ to receive their guests coming through trains. In our board meeting today, we found some 0.6% of trains in last one year have reached their destination without delays. We are also surprised and board has formed a high-level committee to look into this matter. It would have caused lot of inconvenience to people as many might have missed to get down at their respective destinations on the way.”
Railways is planning to add “user convenience” fees for those who want lower berths. “In budget flights, people are ready to pay extra to get window seat, why they cannot pay more for lower berths,” asked the board official.