User charges on around 700-1,050 Railway Stations to be levied basis projected rise in footfall

While the ministry has so far planned to offer around 50 railway stations for redevelopment, levying user development fee in advance on the basis of footfall projection, will help the government provide better services to the common man. Yadav has...

New Delhi: The railway ministry will levy a nominal user development fee on around 700-1,000 railway stations on the basis of an estimated spurt in footfall, and irrespective of the fact that whether they have been redeveloped or not, Rail Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav said on Thursday.

User charges will be levied on stations which are expected to register a steady growth in footfall, thereby necessitating their expansion, Yadav said.

While the ministry has so far planned to offer around 50 railway stations for redevelopment, levying user development fee in advance on the basis of footfall projection, will help the government provide better services to the common man.


Yadav has, however, assured that the user fee will be “nominal” and the common man is not impacted.

“We will soon notify user charges and our intention is, (at) all stations, whether they are being redeveloped or not, we charge a small amount and use that (so) we are able to provide good services to people,” Yadav said in a media briefing here.

“When a redevelopment is complete, after that, the money will go to the concessionaire. Before that, it will come to railways, with the help of which, we will be able to provide good facilities (at railway stations),” Yadav said.
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Of around 7,000 railway stations, user charges will be levied on 10-15% stations, Yadav said.

“If we run trains as per demand, we will also have to provide facilities at railway stations. So wherever we are hopeful of footfall increasing in the next five years, we will need to expand stations, we will levy it there,” he said.

Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Aayog, who was also present at the briefing, said that the Indian Railways' attempt to bring in private investment, will help bring down both passenger and freight fares.

Niti Aayog has been spearheading the Indian Railways plans to bring in private participation in the sector, whether through allowing private companies to operate passenger stations or development and redevelopment of railway stations.
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Kant said that the passenger train fares in India are so highly subsidised, that carrying freight through railways has become expensive, which has led to the National transporter losing its freight share to roadways.

"70% of India’s freight moves through roads. So there has to be a balance," Kant said. "We are quite confident that as you go along over a period of time, competition will bring both efficiency and reduction of fares in both passengers and freights," he added.
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Yadav also said that of the seven new bullet train corridors that are being planned by the railway ministry, they will be offered for development through the public private partnership routes.

Apart from the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor, the railway ministry has started work on the feasibility study of the Delhi-Varanasi, Mumbai-Nagpur, Delhi-Ahmedabad, Chennai-Mysore, among other corridors.
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