1:32 am - Saturday November 7, 2015

Acche din derailed? Mumbai locals fare hike may be staggered not rolled back

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With public anger mounting over an unprecedented fare hike on suburban Mumbai trains, the government is now reportedly considering staggering the hike for local trains.
a top government official close to the development as saying, “The subsidy burden has become unsustainable. However, we want to explore whether the pain of withdrawal of subsidy can be eased by implementing it in phases.”
As per the revised fares, effective 25 June, a Rs 85 monthly season ticket (II Class) will now cost Rs 150, while a Rs 190 monthly pass will be priced at Rs 480. Similarly, the monthly season pass of Rs 795 for the first class has been revised to Rs 1,930. Likewise, a first class commuter with a monthly pass of Rs 1,740 will now have to shell out Rs 2,120 more for the same journey.The hike has caused several protests in Mumbai and in addition to the Congress which has been handing out flyers asking ‘Are acche din derailedddd?’ to commuters outside key railway stations in the city such as Bandra, BJP ally Shiv Sena has also come out strongly against the measure.
“People brought them to power with certain ideas. While we understand the government doesn’t have a magic wand, the public was not prepared for this hike.The report added that Raut did not seem impressed by Modi’s recent speech in which he had asked the people to be ready for some bitter pills. “If the public is angry, we are angry. This is not just for Mumbai and we aren’t saying this because Maharashtra goes to elections (in four months). Train fares are important here,” he said.
Meanwhile an edit in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna called the hike a burden on Mumbaikars, adding that if the Congress had hiked fares, the BJP would have been the first to oppose it.
But the criticism has not come from allies alone. BJP MLA Vinod Tawde tweeted saying the hike must be reconsidered and that he had asked BJP President Rajnath Singh to reconsider the proposal.

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