Over 4% fall in passenger bookings leaves Indian Railways worried

By PTI

An over 4 per cent fall in passenger bookings between April and August this year has left the Indian Railway worried, raising concerns about a possible rise in passenger subsidy.

Altogether 3,427.84 million passengers traveled by trains during April and August as against 3,575.30 million during the corresponding period last fiscal, a difference of 147.46 million, recording a fall of 4.12 per cent, according to the country’s largest public transporter. Railways earned Rs 19,394.75 crore during the period as against the target of Rs 20,204.85 crore, a shortfall of 4.95 per cent.

Sources said if the down slide is not checked, passenger subsidy, which hovers around Rs 29,000 crore a year now, may go up further. Railway’s passenger operations are heavily cross-subsidised from freight business and any further decline in passenger earnings is a matter of serious concern for the public transporter.

Passenger bookings not only lag behind the previous year, but are also way off the target of 3606.71 million fixed by railways for the five-month period. More info

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