Chennai: Political parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK, today opposed the Railways’ move to introduce flexi fare system on premier trains, Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi, saying it will affect the poor and the middle classes and demanded its rollback.

DMK treasurer and Opposition Leader in Tamil Nadu Assembly, M K Stalin said it was distressing to see the Railways coming out with such a fare system even as the Railway Budget in February this year had not levied any hike in passenger fares.

The Indian Railways has shocked the passengers across the country with a 50 per cent raise in the ticket prices of Rajdhani, Duranto and Shatabdi, Stalin said in a Facebook post. Airlines and private bus operators burdened the commuters with surge pricing during festival days, and the Railways, which is the largest used public sector service, should not opt for it, he said.

The first 10 per cent of the tickets in base fare will be sold out as soon as the booking opens, forcing the rest to buy the remaining 90 per cent of the tickets for higher price affecting the poor and middle class, he said.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss said the flexi pricing system is condemnable. and affects the poor and the middle classes. Former Union Minister and TMC leader G K Vasan also slammed the move.

DMK, PMK and TMC demanded rollback of the flexi fare system. The Railways had put in place the flexi fare system for premier trains - Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi with effect from today.

According to the new system, while 10 per cent of the seats will be sold in the normal fare in the beginning, it will go on increasing by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold with the ceiling limit of 50 per cent.

Facing criticism, the railways yesterday said the decision to introduce dynamic surge pricing for premier train tickets has been done on an experimental basis and it will be reviewed after some time.

PTI