Affordable AC Train Travel to End, Govt to Phase Out Garib Rath Express Introduced By Lalu
On two particular routes the Garib Rath express has been converted to a mail express and fares have been raised.
The Garib Rath Express, introduced by former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in 2006, will reportedly be phased out by the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre.
Garib Rath, which translates to the ‘poor man’s chariot’, is a fully AC train service. The fare is substantially lower, the width of the berths is smaller and more seats are packed into one coach as opposed to AC 3-tier coaches. 26 Garib Raths are currently in service. The service was credited with making comfortable AC travel affordable to a wider section of the society.
Per an NDTV report, the Garib Rath from Kathgodam to Jammu as well as the one from Kathgodam to Kanpur Central has been converted to a mail express — the number of AC coaches as been reduced and Sleeper and General coaches have been added. The fare has also been hiked. From Kathgodam to Jammu, it will now cost Rs 1070 as compared to Rs 755 earlier, and from Kathgodam to Jammu, it will cost Rs 675, up from Rs 475 earlier.
The report adds that the manufacturing of the Garib Rath Coaches has also been stopped.
When asked about the matter, MoS Railways Suresh Angadi reportedly told NDTV that there have been no complaints about the fare hike so far and that he will look into it if a complaint is received.
Following media reports about the phasing out Garib Rath, a new report from NDTV has emerged about the Indian Railway overturning its former decision. Neither will there be an increase in fares, nor will there be a change in the composition of the train. The two Garib Rath trains, which were converted to mail expresses, will be restored back to their original state from August 4, the report said.