In keeping up with their party president Rahul Gandhi’s tradition of blatantly lying, Senior Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahai took to Twitter to spread lies about the increase in tariff fares of the Indian Railways. Sahai asserted that there has been a 60 per cent price hike in the Railway fares under the Modi government.
देश में भाजपा की सरकार बनने के बाद से रेल का सफर लगातार महंगा होता गया। रेल किराया 60 फीसदी से अधिक बढ़ गया। अब सरकार रेलवे की जमीन भी बेचने की साजिश रच रही है। तमाम सार्वजनिक उपक्रमों को बर्बाद करने पर तुली है यह सरकार।#AbHogaNYAY #BJP_भगाओ_देश_बचाओ#jharkhand #ranchi pic.twitter.com/bw4dwj8zXb
— Subodh Kant Sahai (@SubodhKantSahai) May 2, 2019
Sahai has said in his tweet that the cost of railway journey in India since BJP came to power has steadily increased. Alleging 60 per cent tariff hike, Sahai also made an outlandish claim that the government is conspiring to sell away the land held by railways.
However, the change in the Railway tariff rates over the last 5 years suggest something else. The Modi government had hiked the Railway fares just once in the last 5 years. During its first year at the centre, the Modi government had raised the ticket prices by 10% in all classes, excluding the Fuel Adjustment Component(FAC) which was pegged at about 4.2%.
From the above chart, the cumulative increase in the Railways fare has been 14.2%. Since 2014-2015 Railways Budget, there has been no increase in the tariffs of the Railways across all the classes except the inclusion of Dynamic Flexi-fare pricing in Premium Trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto. In fact, the Railways scrapped the Dynamic pricing altogether in 2018 and for the first time, graded discounts up to 50% were being offered on select trains by the Railways.
Even in the interim budget 2019, there had been no hike in the passenger fare and the freight charges. The national transporter also saw the highest ever capital expenditure allocation of Rs 1.58 lakh crores in the last budget.
The Railways under the Modi government has been witnessing progress by leaps and bounds with special emphasis given to the safety of the passengers and the cleanliness of the trains and stations. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced in the interim budget 2019 that Railways had been able to achieve its target of eliminating all unmanned crossings. He also launched a massive campaign of beautification of Railway stations as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission to improve the visual appeal of the Stations across the country and provide first-class facilities to the travellers.
Railways have also digitally enabled 1500 Railway stations across the country, providing Free WiFi services to the passengers. In fact, the Ministry of Railways provided Free WiFi to 500 stations in just 7 days. The Government is currently mulling over enhancing the passenger experience by providing Free WiFi facilities on Trains.
The work for the ambitious project of Bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is underway. Under the Modi government, the country has also manufactured its first semi-indigenous semi-fast train and plans for launching 100 more such trains are in the offing.
So while the Railways have seen unprecedented growth under the Modi government with fare hike of just 14.2% in the last 5 years, it has certainly perturbed the Congress leaders who are now resorting to purveying fake news about the tariff hike in order to discredit the growth achieved under the current government and incite the non-existent resentment among the voters.