Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday hinted a possibility of a hike in passenger fares, saying that the raise was in the interest of passenger safety and other necessities.
Bansal took charge of the railway ministry following the cabinet reshuffle on Sunday.
He said that if there was a necessity to increase passenger fares and claimed that people would accept the hike.
According to reports, Bansal stated that the priority of the railway ministry would be the safety of passengers. In addition, cleanliness of trains and stations will also be given due consideration.
"I am aware of the difficulties the Railways faces. There are over 11,000 trains running daily. We know the expectations of the people. We will attempt to deliver them," Bansal said according to IBN Live.
"Punctuality and cleanliness is of utmost priority. Clean toilets is an issue to be looked at," he added.
The union minister said a Railway Board meeting will be held on Tuesday in which a decision regarding the fare hike and the date of implementation of the revised fare is expected to be discussed.
Commenting over his recent position, Bansal expressed his gratitude to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for entrusting him with the railway minister's portfolio.
Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also advocated the need to increase fares.
"Prices have increased in every area...so why not in the railways. Common people will not oppose it if services will be proper," Chowdhury said according to The Hindu.
He also lashed at Trinamool Congress, which handled the railway ministry before withdrawing its support to the government, citing various mishaps that he claimed had soiled the name of Indian Railways.
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