October 31, 2017

40 per cent seats on India's bullet train route go vacant, reveals RTI reply

As the government proceeds with the grandiose plans for a Bullet Train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, a RTI query has revealed that over 40 percent of seats on all the trains on this sector go vacant causing huge losses to Western Railway.

According to RTI replies received by Mumbai activist Anil Galgali, only in the past one quarter, the Western Railway's staggering losses on this sector is nearly Rs 30 crore, or around Rs. 10 crore per month.

"The Indian government is over-enthusiastic and plans to spend more than Rs 1 lakh crore on the Bullet Train project, but it has not done its homework properly," Galgali said, adding it raises serious question marks on the viability of the Bullet Train project, whenever it comes up.

The Indian Railways have also admitted that they have no plans to introduce any new trains on this sector which is already in the red.

Faced with the vacancies on existing trains, the WR Divisional Engineer, Ahmedabad informed that there is no fresh proposal to introduce any new trains on this sector.

The Shatabdi Express train, which once always ran packed in all seasons both ways has now proved to be a loss-maker, and the executive chair car with 7,505 seats was practically deserted with just 1,469 seats booked, plummeting revenues from the estimated Rs 1,45,49,714 to a paltry Rs 26,41,083 during the last quarter.

Read more at http://www.moneylife.in/article/40-percent-seats-on-mumbai-ahmedabad-trains-go-vacant-rti-reply/52037.html

Question: why spend 100,000 crore on a route which is unlikely to ever show profits? And benefit a select few?

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