DELHI: 21 June 2014

The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has termed the hikes in railway fares and freight rates of 14.2 per cent and 6.5 per cent as savage.The party has called for its roll back forthwith so that the euphoria of “Ache Din Aa Gaye” as claimed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after poll victory does not get derailed so early. The hikes are the first “gift” of bitter medicine to the people who voted NDA to power in an unprecedented manner.

SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement said this is a new record of Modi Government as never in history of Indian Railways such hike was made in fares. The increase in rail fares is anti-middle class and anti-poor while hike in freight charges will further aggravate inflation and lead to price rise. The prices of food items and other essential commodities would soar further affecting people at large, he added.

Sayeed said Modi’s tall promises on controlling inflation and price rise made during the election campaign have fallen flat at the first instance. What lies in store remains to be seen and time will tell. It is a huge burden on people when they are already battling relentless price rise. Whatever may be the reason; there is no justification in the hike of fares.

The statement said that the government should seek alternate revenue sources to set right the problems in the railways which are a legacy of the previous United Progressive Alliance government.

Sayeed said that work on safety first; train accidents are not acceptable anymore. Bring in automation, mprove the condition of platforms and ensure restrooms are maintained in mint condition always. There should be 14.2 per cent improvement in the quality of railway services, then only the fare hike could be justified somewhat. No point just hiking fare to cover railway losses due to poor management. Hiking isn’t the solution unless they somehow take relevant steps towards improvement. Till then hikes in railway fares and freight rates should be rolled back, he reiterated.