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Is Trivedi the country's railway minister or not, asks opposition

New Delhi, Thu, 15 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): Opposition parties on Thursday asked the UPA-II Government to clarify if Dinesh Trivedi continues to be the country's Railway Minister.


"Tell us if Trivedi is still Railways Minister. Is the railway budget presented yesterday still valid?," asked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj.


Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav asked the government to make a statement in the House on the issue.


"They (UPA Government) have mismanaged this whole affair. We need transparency on what happened," he said.


The Communist Party of India (CPI) gave a notice for adjournment and demanded a statement from the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the issue.


"The government is weak. This is an unusual, unprecedented and a shameful development. A weak government cannot address any challenge India is facing," said CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta.


The demand for the sacking of Trivedi was in response to his decision to hike passenger fares without consulting Banerjee or the TMC leadership. The latter felt that the measure was an anti-poor step.


Trivedi had in his maiden Railway Budget proposed a hike of one paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class travel. He also called for a fare increase for mail express and second class trains at three paisa per km; for sleeper class five paisa per km; for AC chair car, AC 3 tier and First Class by 10 paise per km; AC 2 Tier 15 paise per km; and AC I 30 paise per km.


He said the corresponding rationalization in minimum distance and fare chargeable in various classes has also been proposed.


The proposed revisions will have marginal impact on the fares. The increase in fares for suburban second class passengers traveling 35 km will be Rs.2. For non-suburban second class ordinary passenger traveling a distance of 135 km, increase will be Rs.4 only.


For second class mail or express passenger traveling a distance of 375 km, the addition to the fare will be Rs.12 and that for a 750 km journey by sleeper class on mail/express train will be Rs.40. An AC 3 tier passenger traveling a distance of 530 km will be required to pay an additional Rs.57. The increase for AC 2 tier and AC I passenger traveling over same distance will be Rs.84 and Rs.163 respectively. (ANI)


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