Flexi-fare scheme still available in Hbj-New Delhi Shatabdi Exp

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Nov 2018 11:16:11


By Ankita Garg,

Despite witnessing large number of seats vacant in Habibganj-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Railways is yet to decide over withdrawal of flexi-fare scheme from the trains.
Passengers of Shatabdi Express from Habibganj to New Delhi still need to spend extra buck for their reservation as Railways has not ended the flexi-fare from train. However, slight relaxation has been given to the passengers in this train. Recently, Railways has ended flexi-fare scheme from 15 premier trains, including 13 Shatabdi and 2 Duronto Express, but it did not bring the Habibganj-New Delhi Shatabdi in the list. Railways ended the flexi fare from 47 trains that have below 50 per cent reservation throughout year.

Hbj-New Delhi Shatabdi was the first train for which flexi-fare scheme was criticised. The train is going vacant without any reservation for past two years. Railway Users Advisory Committee has already demanded to end the flexi-fare from this train.
After recent announcement of railway to end flexi-fare from 15 trains, the committee demanded to revise the list of trains exempted from flex-fare.

Talking to ‘The Hitavada’, Railways Public Relations Officer (PRO) I A Siddique said, “Railway Board has ended the flexi-fare from trains having large number of vacant seats. We are just following the orders of board and there is no order for Habibganj-New Delhi Shatabdi yet.” Siddique also accepted that about 250 to 300 seats are going unreserved in Shatabdi Express train except the peak season. About 40 per cent seats in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and four Duronto Express trains passing via Bhopal Railway Division going vacant.

He further informed that Railways has withdrawn flexi fare from 15 trains. Now it would help the passengers in 31 trains having 50 to 75 per cent reservation during holidays and rush hours. Railway has reduced the price of 101 train tickets by 1.5 to 1.4 fold as compare to base fare. However, this has been executed on experiment basis for next six months. Railways has announced that if below 60 percent ticket get booked in any flexi fare scheme train four days before departure of the train, passengers in all class will get fare relaxation.

In case of 70 per cent seats booked, passengers will get 20 per cent relaxation and in case of 70 to 80 per cent seats reservation, 10 per cent fare relaxation will be given to the passengers at last. Sources said railway earns about Rs 5.5 crore on filling up about 10 percent vacant seats. Sources said Railways has witnessed loss of Rs 103 crore with the flexi fare scheme.

However, Railways claimed for about 14% profit with this scheme, large numbers of seats in train passing through stations under Bhopal division are going vacant.  Under this scheme railway is over charging 40 to 50 % among from passengers.  On September 2016, Railways introduced flexi fare scheme in 46 Shatabdi, 42 Rajdhani and 54 Duronto Express trains across country.

The scheme allows 10 per cent seats under normal fare in beginning. The seat charges goes increasing by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold with a ceiling of 50 per cent.