|Wednesday, 27 November 2002|
by Rajmi Manatunga
Railway authorities have requested the Government to increase train fares as a measure to take the unproductive service out of the mess.
General Manager of the Railway Department Priyal De Silva told the Daily News that the service was badly in need of a fare hike today as it was currently running at a loss with a surfeit of employees.
"Train fares have not been increased since 1996 and ironically it is after that diesel and other fuel prices started to go up rapidly. We have been asking all governments to increase train fares but without much effect", he said.
De Silva went on to say that after the 1970s demands of the public has changed so much so that a lot if attention is focused on welfare facilities such as health, education excepting transport. Subsequently less funds were allocated to the rail service, he said adding that the world market prices of all machinery have gone up in the past few years.
"During the last six years bus fares have gone up several times and this has greatly contributed to the present overcrowding in trains", he added.
Meanwhile State Transport Minister Piyasoma Upali said that the Government was yet to take a decision on the proposal which suggests 60 per cent and 40 per cent fare hikes for long and short distance services respectively.
Produced by Lake House