Kolkata Metro seeks to increase fares

Facing acute losses, the Metro Rail Kolkata has sought a hike in passenger fares to reach a "no-profit-no-loss" situation.

Singing in tune with a Railway Board committee which has recommended that Metro rail fares should be increased, Metro Rail Kolkata General Manager Radhey Shyam said, "There is a need for revision in the fare structure, which have not been changed in the past 10-12 years for us to reach a no-profit-no-loss situation.

"The Railway Ministry has formed a committee to review the fares of Kolkata Metro. The Committee has suggested that fares should be increased," he said at seminar by Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

At present, the minimum Kolkata Metro fare is Rs 4, which is cheaper than state-run buses in the metropolis. The minimum fare for state-run buses is Rs 5.

Shyam said that though low fares were not affecting expansion plans, the hike would at least help run existing routes well.

He said the Kolkata Metro Rail is carrying out feasibility surveys in about 14 potential routes, including Dankuni to Shrirampur and Barackpore-Kalyani to connect the metropolis with suburban districts.

He said that acquiring land for projects was still a bottleneck in some areas and it caused progress of work to slow down.

Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has also indicated a hike in fares for Kolkata Metro Railway.

Kolkata Metro, which began operations on October 24, 1984, is spread over 25.13 km north to south of Kolkata.

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