Long-distance train travel is likely to cost more for passengers boarding or alighting at redeveloped stations as the Railways is planning to levy a station development fee ranging from INR 10 to INR 50 depending on the class of travel.
Officials said the fee is likely to be added to the train tickets during booking. The fee will be levied only after such stations become operational. The user fee would be in three categories. INR 50 for all AC classes, INR 25 for sleeper class and INR 10 for the unreserved class. No station development fee will be charged for suburban train journeys, according to a circular issued by the Railway Board.
It stated that platform tickets at these stations will also be costlier by INR 10. “Station Development Fee (SDF) shall be collected from the passengers (boarding as well as alighting at such stations).”
“Class-wise SDF for developed/redeveloped stations shall be charged as under: For alighting passengers at such stations, the SDF shall be 50 per cent of the rates indicated above. If both boarding/alighting such stations, in that case, SDF shall be 1.5 times of the applicable rate,” the circular stated.
SDF shall be uniform across all such stations and shall be charged as a separate component plus applicable GST, for which instructions shall be issued separately, it added. Officials said that the levying of SDF will ensure a continuous revenue stream for the Railways and will make the model financially viable for the national transporter to lure private players.
Various stations are being redeveloped on Indian Railways to provide modern amenities. Rani Kamalapati station of West Central Railway and Gandhinagar Capital station of Western Railway have been developed and commissioned.