TOI has learnt that the minimum user fee could be around Rs 10. The ministry is working on the proposal which will be placed before the Cabinet soon. Sources said deliberations are on whether the user fee for passengers in unreserved category and those taking suburban trains would be minimal or would be exempted from paying such a fee.
The Railway Board CEO and chairman V K Yadav had recently told reporters that the user fee won’t pinch the general passengers.
The charge is likely to be notified next month as the railways has set November 6 deadline for accepting bids from private players for the redevelopment of New Delhi station and Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus in Mumbai.
Collection of user fee will be one of the assured revenue streams for private players who will make massive investment in the redevelopment of major railway stations. However, it remains to be seen whether the railways will notify or publicise the assured facilities for passengers at railway stations where the user fee would be charged.
“This is a genuine concern as we will have to meet some expectations of people who will be paying extra for better service and facilities at the station,” a railway official admitted.
The redeveloped Habibganj station is scheduled to be operational by this year end and more projects including at Chandigarh, Nagpur and Sabarmati are likely to be bid out soon.
The railways has announced that the user fee will be charged at select stations where the foot fall is high or estimated to increase significantly in the next few years. It had said that the number of such stations won’t be more than 10-15%, which translates to around 700-1,000 stations.