In a written reply to Rajya Sabha today, Minister of State of Railways, Rajen Gohain noted that the government does not plan to hike railway fares.
Gohain noted that the national transporter has seen an increase in passenger traffic by 0.68 per cent and a spike of 0.99 per cent between Delhi and Mumbai during April- November 2017 as compared to the corresponding period last year.
Gohain's reply addressed queries around passenger traffic, special trains and their fares.
He shared that 'special' trains are made operational with an aim to clear extra rush of passengers during peak seasons, festivals and special events.
"Special trains on special charges are introduced based on demand pattern. They run over and above the scheduled trains and are charged at the rate of 10 per cent of basic fare for the second class and 30 per cent of basic fare for all other classes," the minister said.
Suvidha trains are run based on the demand pattern. The minimum fare of such trains -- applicable for the initial 20 per cent bookings -- usually equals the standard Tatkal fare. Thereafter the fare for the subsequent 20 per cent of bookings go up by three times of the standard Tatkal fare, the minister noted.
Gohain explained higher fares of these trains as an outcome of escalating operational costs.
"The operational cost of running passenger train services is increasing year after year while the passenger fare is highly subsidised," Gohain added.
"At present, there is no such proposal", he replied to a query on government's plan of increasing fares.