Hit by acute losses, Metro Railway Kolkata has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Railways for increasing fares. Kolkata metro has sought a hike in fares after almost a decade.

With a minimum fare of Rs 4, Kolkata metro – a wing of Indian Railways – currently spends Rs 300 to earn Rs 100.

According to Radhey Shyam, General Manager, Metro Railway, the Kolkata metro “needs a fare revision” immediately to reach at least no-profit-no-loss situation. “The Metro Railway has a 10-year-old fare structure,” he said.

“A committee has been formed at the Railway Board level (in this regard). The committee has submitted its recommendation to the Ministry. Currently, it is under consideration of the Ministry,” Shyam told the reporters here.

He was addressing a seminar on business opportunities in the ongoing projects of Metro Railway organised by Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Having started its operations in October 1984, Kolkata metro currently operates on a 25 km-long rail route connecting North with southern parts of the city.

Metro Railway is carrying out five expansion projects covering nearly 87 km to connect suburbs with Kolkata’s central business district, Shyam said.

Revenue generation

In a move to streamline revenue from advertisements, Kolkata Metro has initiated a scheme – Own Your Station – to sell the advertisement rights of each metro station to private companies.

“Under this scheme, a potential client may opt for buying advertisement rights at metro stations. In turn, the client will pay a licence fee to the metro rail authorities,” Shyam said.

Survey

According to him , Kolkata Metro has started feasibility studies in 14 potential routes such as Tollygunge-Joka, Dankuni-Sreerampore, Barrackpore-Kalyani, Howrah-Dhulagarh etc. Of these, studies in six routes are in progress.

ayan.pramanik@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 8, 2013)
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