Sunday, May 07, 2017

Flying on the right track

With the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Railways sparring over passenger fares, it seems Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju have decided to smoke the pipe of peace and work in coordination. Both Cabinet ministers have decided to chart out a strategy for providing a compatible transport solution to passengers by offering air-cum-rail connectivity under the civil aviation ministry’s recent regional connectivity scheme Udan.

The plan is to offer a comprehensive travel solution whereby passengers booking flight tickets under the Udan scheme also get the option of rail connectivity to their nearest station. Udan: Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik was launched last week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The two ministers have held initial discussions that we should be looking at compatible services whereby train services connect the flights and flights connect Shatabdi kind of inter-city trains.
Udan services are for areas where air connectivity wasn’t there, and where rail is an important kind of transportation,” said Member Traffic Mohammad Jamshed.

Air India and the Railways have been sparring over passenger fares, especially after the latter introduced the flexi fare system in premium trains last September. The flexi fare system led to Rajdhani and Shatabdi fares becoming higher than air fares in some sectors.
07/05/17 Richa Sharma/New Indian Express