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Railways Permit Officials to Fly as it is "Cheaper" than AC Train Price

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Asserting that airfares to Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata from their centres are "cheaper" than AC train fares (AC1 & AC2), the Hubli Karnataka headquartered South Western Railway has approved its officials’ request to fly to these destinations.

The General Manager of South Western Railway has approved the proposal which states that it would increase efficiency as the travel time between any location in the railway zone to these tier 1 cities is more than 12 hours.

The one way travel time by train from any location in South Western Railway to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata is more than 12 hours. It can be seen that fares of private airlines on mostly travelled routes are cheaper than that of AC train fares (1AC/2AC). The Deputy General Manager of zone has suggested in a letter to the General Manager pursue his approval for air travel for senior officials on 31st July. Letter also said that meetings at Railway Board are arranged at short notice and permitting air travel will enable officers for quick movement from headquarters to Delhi. The General Manager of South Western Railway had approved it on 1st August.

Ajay Kumar Singh said that Branch officials are important people. If they are going to Delhi, it will take 3 days for 2-hour meeting.

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had argued last year in its report that a comparison with airfare for 13 sectors showed that travelling by aeroplane was cheaper than by train for a large number of routes, but the order comes a year after.

Comparison

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said that when we compare to the cost and time taken for travel by premium trains, airfare became much cheaper and best mode of travel.

From there, the railways have taken some measures to handle the issue by cutting down the number of trains in which dynamic pricing was applicable. According to a reply in Lok Sabha by the ministry, the scheme is prevalent for around 141 trains.

What did letter stated?

The letter stated that "With a view to improve the productivity of officers and a process reform on South Western Railway , it is proposed to permit officers up to JS level to travel both ways by air when train travel one way takes more than 12 hours”.



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