Railway passengers may have to shell out additional Rs 10-Rs 35 for their ticket fares as user charges for availing redeveloped stations with state of the art amenities and to help the national transporter in raising funds for redeveloping more stations, sources indicated. This is part of a proposal being finalised by the Railways which will soon be sent for Cabinet nod, the sources said.
The user fee, the sources said, will vary according to the class — it would range between Rs 10 and Rs 35 with the higher price for AC first class passengers. The Railways had earlier clarified that user fee would be levied only across stations which will be redeveloped and those that have high footfalls.
Of the 7,000 total railway stations in the country, around 700-1,000 fall in this category, it had said. This is the first time that such a fee, which is levied on air passengers, will be charged from rail users.
UDF is charged at various airports and the rate varies from city to city. "User charges are essentially a small token amount which when collected, will be ploughed back into the improvement of conveniences and facilities for all passengers at the railway station," a railway ministry spokesperson said.
"The amount of this fee is expected to be very reasonable and minimalistic so that there is no burden on anyone especially common people. This little sum will only be levied at the stations where the footfall is high. It will only be collected by the facility management when the development of the station is complete, he said. The spokesperson added that the matter is under consideration and no final decision has been taken on the amount of user charge. "But one thing is certain, that these user charges, as levied, would be minimal and would not be hard on any section of passengers, he added.