Railways to levy ‘user fees’ just like flight fares to redevelop stations

This is the first time that such charges are levied on rail passengers

Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav announced that the Indian Railways will soon introduce user charges in 10-15 percent of 7,000 railway stations across the country.

User charges are mainly an affordable amount of money which is used to provide the passenger's convenience and world-class facilities similar to that of the airport development.

Mr. Yadav stated that the charges will be nominal and a notification will be issued for the user charge for all stations for both that is getting redeveloped and those that are not. He added that the Railways will levy charges mainly across the major stations where the footfall of passengers will increase over the next five years.

The plan is to redevelop 50 railway stations and monetize its land. According to the Railways, ‘Railopolis’ will be the name given to the redeveloped hubs and the land will be leased for commercial purposes for 60 years.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, “The focus is Make in India. Even the global companies that participate in this will have to follow the Make in India norms by DPIIT. This will bring in manufacturing capacity in India. When Alstom and Bombardier can manufacture metro trains in India then why can’t trains be manufactured. Everything will be set up in India.”

The redevelopment project of the station is being considered under a public-private partnership. The modernization of stations will include developing and re-developing the new as well as existing railway stations. It will also include upgrading passenger facilities by renovations or new constructions. It will help station buildings, platform surfaces, circulating area to be redeveloped to better standards to meet passenger needs.

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