In a recent move, the railways are seeking an option of withdrawing concessions that it offers to a host of individuals, including senior citizens, who travel by AC first class coaches. The AC-I tickets coming at 50% discount for elderly might see a major change after the withdrawal.
The proposal will be discussed ahead of the rail budget and will be taken forward after approval of the political leadership. The proposal was stated after the need to improve earnings, faced with an acute fund crunch and demand for massive investment to fix infrastructure in the state transportation arised.
The railways drops a fair amount of nearly Rs 1,400 crore annually by providing concessional tickets to 53 categories, including disabled, artists, sportsmen, war-widows, doctors, senior citizens and journalists.
As per sources, the railways were looking at the option of withdrawing discounts for several categories of people travelling in AC first class. There is no information to disband discounts for other classes of railways given the political implications.
Travelling by AC first class sometimes become more expensive than the travels by air but with the discount, senior citizens took to train travel in the premium class at least for overnight and short journeys. Making it a convenient deal for the seniors, with the discount, the fare is marginally higher than AC-II tier.