Surat : When the Union Cabinet appointed Surat’s Member of Parliament (MP) Darshana Jardosh as the Minister of State for Railways, the Surti travellers hoped for the improved infrastructure and more train connectivity for the city. However, the residents got a rude shock on Wednesday when the Western
Railway (WR) imposed highest platform ticket fare for passengers at the Surat railway station compared to other stations in Gujarat.
In a communication issued by the WR’s Division Railway Manager (DRM) office, the platform ticket fares at the railway stations falling under the MMCT division have been revised above Rs 10 per head. While other railway stations including Vadodara and Ahmedabad attracts platform ticket rate of Rs 30 per person, the ticket fare for the Surat railway station has been fixed at Rs 50.
Other small stations falling under the NSG-5 and NSG-6 categories including Vapi, Valsad etc. will charge Rs 20 per person for the platform ticket.
According to the community by the DRM office, the issuance of platform ticket has been started to discourate and restrict the number of passengers in railway premises, platforms and fly-overy-bridges and protect the human life, health and safety due to the effect of coronavirus pandemic.
However, the decision to impose highest platform ticket fare at Surat railway station has invited opposition from all the quarters in the city.
The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SGCCI) railway committee has written a letter to the Mumbai division DRM to revoke the decision and fix the platform ticket rates at par with other big railway stations in the state.
Rakesh Shah, chairman of SGCCI’s railway committee said, “This is an utter negligence of the DRM for keeping highest platform ticket rate for the passengers at Surat railway station. We have requested the top authorities to review the decision and fix the platform ticket rates at par with other big railway stations”
Sanjay Jain of Surat Railway Station Citizen Development Forum (SRSCDF) told TBT, “WR wants to mint money from Surat by imposing hefty platform ticket rates. The rates have been revised when the railways have failed to set-up proper infrastructure and facilities for the passengers. The hike in platform ticket should be immediately revoked by the DRM”