For seven more years Navi Mumbaikars to pay surcharge on railway tickets
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by activist Ravi Shrivastava, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has informed that a total surcharge of Rs 352.87crore has received by it till January 2013 from Central Railway (CR). The surcharge is collected from sale of tickets for the suburban rail route. Further, out of the amount of Rs 352.87crore, an amount of Rs 46.21 was collected in 2012-13 itself.
In 1995, the CIDCO and Central Railway had constructed Vashi Creek Bridge at a cost of Rs 44 crore. Later, the CIDCO had raised funds for providing suburban rail network to Navi Mumbai by floating bonds of Rs. 250 crore. With subsequent addition of interest and incremental cost amounting to Rs 537.42 crore, the total cost came to Rs787.42 crore. In order to recover the cost of construction, CR had imposed a surcharge to pay back the amount with interest to Cidco. It was initially kept at Rs 2 per ticket, raised to Rs 3 per ticket and further to Rs 5 on January 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. By this rate, the CR can recover nearly Rs 60 crore annually and thus, it would take seven years to recover the outstanding amount.
A second class railway ticket from Vashi to CST shall now be pegged at Rs 15 while the fare of the same distance on other routes is just Rs 10 and thus the suburban sector of CR Railway is emerging as one of the most profit-generating ventures.