Chandigarh,11.09.16-I CA Keshav R Garg who is a regular traveler of shatabdi to and from Chandigarh- Delhi would like to lodge a complaint against the Indian railways for indulging into Monopolistic Trade Practices by adopting flexi-fares for Shatabdi, Rajdhani & Durronto trains.  Like me there are so many professionals, common people, officers and other category people who travel in this shatabdi train. The number of travelers is so huge, that at times it becomes tough to even find the confirmed seat in Kalka shatabdi running from Kalka to Delhi and back. 


In railways sector, Indian Railways has its monopoly and the travelers have no option other than Indian railways. Recently government introduced the flexi-fare system for Shatabdi, Rajdhani & Durronto trains without the approval of the parliament or the concerned agencies. This decision has come all of a sudden without calling for representations from public (the most affected by this decision). Standards of Indian Railways is so poor that the monopolistic practice of charging flexi-fares which are made to exploit the common man is not acceptable due to following reasons :  


1.      There are no parallel competitors to keep prices under control i.e. people have no option except paying high fares;


2.      The quality of food and services at these trains is low grade, so much so that even plastic, insects, dust are usually found in the food served in these trains;


3.      They usually run late either due to bad weather, track blockage or any other reasons;


4.      Poor amenities at Railway station which do not have even proper place to sit. What to talk about unhygienic food, stinky washrooms or security concerns at railway station.


If the Indian railway is of the view that the facility of these trains are availed only be elite class, they are totally mistaken. Even a common travels in this trains and sudden surge in the fare prices would actually pull him down from these trains to low standard roadways buses. 


The unilateral decisions of railways ministry in applying the flexi-fare is a monopolistic trade practice to earn extra profits without providing commensurate facilities to the travelers. Moreover Indian railways is a government agency, it is bound to give facilities in commensurate with the fare charged. This is a move towards capitalist approach by a socialistic government agency. Only the fare has been changed but no facilities have been upgraded, Shatabdi is as it is as it was earlier.  


Sir as a professional, I would request you to kindly take quick action and save the common man from being exploited by the Railway Ministry.    


Thanks and Regards

 Keshav R Garg
(B.Com, CA, CS, ISA(ICAI))
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