Bansal hints at increase in railway fares

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Thursday hinted at a hike in passenger fares and asked MPs to be realistic if they wanted the Railways to move forward.

Pointing a finger at the populism that had marked announcement of fresh rail projects, he told the Lok Sabha that it would be difficult to complete them in 50 years. These projects may cost a total of Rs 4 lakh crore. "We have been spreading our resources very thinly across the board and across a large number of projects," he said.

When Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress sought an assurance that there would be no increase in passenger fares, Bansal said: "All that I would like to say is that I would expect the House to be realistic."

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