There were about 53 discounts on reserved tickets for long-distance trains. During the Corona period, most of the revenue was lost after the railway revenue in the passenger-fare sector was hit hard. Discounts are now available for only twelve cases, including serious illness and physical disability. Among the discounts that have been abolished, are discounts for senior passengers. In the last two years, the railways have earned an additional income of around 1,500 crores by removing that discount of the elderly on reserved tickets for long-distance trains from the year of 2020.
The process of normalizing long-distance train services across the country began last November after overcoming various waves of extremes. After that, the demand to bring back discounts on the tickets of senior passengers was raised several times but the railways did not respond.
In a recent lawsuit filed under the Right to Information Act, the railways said that in the last two years, the railways had earned a total of Rs 3,464 crore as a result of waiving discounts on reserved tickets for various categories. A social worker from Madhya Pradesh, Railways said that the railways did not give discounts on tickets to 7.31 crore elderly passengers traveling in reserved class on long-distance trains after the pandemic. Of these, 4 crores 46 lakh are male passengers.
Image Source : https://static.toiimg.com/thumb/msid-90978963,imgsize-50298,width-400,resizemode-4/90978963.jpg
Elderly male citizens aged 60 and over used to get a 40 percent discount on train tickets. And women aged 58 or older used to get a 50% discount on tickets. About 2.84 million women did not get that exemption after the epidemic. The transgender 8310 passengers did not get the discount. In the past, they also got discounts on tickets.
According to the Railways, by cancelling the discount for the elderly male passengers, their income has been Rs 2082 crore. In the case of elderly female passengers, the income is 1381 crore. By cancelling the discounts on the tickets of the transgender passengers, the revenue of the railways has been 45 lakhs 48 thousand rupees.
According to the Railways, among the discounts on various tickets, it would have cost them around Rs 2,000 crore every year to give discounts on ticket fares only to the elderly. This time the cost has been saved. In terms of total revenue for two years, the revenue has been more than Rs 1,500 crore in one year, railway officials said.
Image Source : https://static.toiimg.com/thumb/msid-91563719,imgsize-59916,width-400,resizemode-4/91563719.jpg
Earlier, in order to reduce the loss, in the year of 2016, the railways made Veteran’s ticket option optional. However, the news is that not many people responded to that activity. Only 1.7 per cent of male passengers and 2.47 per cent of females voluntarily waived off. According to some railway officials, the discounted tickets of senior passengers may not be returned by the railways. “Railways, concerned about financial health, are now trying to avoid all the extra costs. The aim is to increase revenue,” said a railway official. As a result, there are still doubts about whether the discount for senior passengers will be returned at all.