THANE TRAIN PASSENGERS OPPOSE SURGE PRICING SYSTEM
THANE: In opposition to the surge pricing system of the railways, the passenger association in Thane has decided to conduct an online signature campaign. The passengers said increasing prices during the festive and holiday season was unfair.
Railway authorities have hiked the fares of premium Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi Express up to a maximum of 50 per cent since Friday. According to the new surge pricing system, after 10 per cent booking, the price will be hiked by 10 percent for each 10 per cent berth of AC II and AC II berths sold with a cap of fifty per cent hike on the original fare.
“The three trains are always fully-booked within minutes. Ten per cent of the berths will be sold to touts or agents while the common man will be left with high-priced tickets. The railways are trying to pass the financial burden on to the common man instead of finding other avenues of generating funds,” said Shashikumar Nair, the chairman of Yatra Samiti, Thane, a passenger association.
Nair said the organisation will conduct an online signature campaign as the fare hike is arbitrary. He said if the hike is not addressed, they will conduct a dharna outside the railway headquarters.
“The vacation and festival season is ongoing and the hike is unfair. We prefer going by flight instead as this is faster,” said GS Pillai, 65, a resident of Kalwa.
There is no clarity whether the increased fare will be imposed on senior citizens and children eligible for half fares, Pillai said.
“The fares imposed on waiting list passengers and reservation against cancellations is also unclear. The railway minister announced the bullet and high speed train during the budget, but the hike in fares was declared later,” Pillai added. THANE: The Thane Municipal Corporation has drawn up new wards for the upcoming civic elections, according to which the number will decrease from the present 65 to 33 wards.
The municipal corporation will hold elections next year.
As per the four-panel system imposed by the election commission, the number of corporators in the city will increase from 130 to 131.
The state election commission, in May, introduced a fourpanel system for the upcoming civic polls in Thane and several other municipal corporations. As per this system, the panel of four corporators will work together for the development of that ward.
The wards will be demarcated based on the population census of 2011. In the 2012 elections, the wards were demarcated on the population census of 2001 when the population of Thane was merely 12 lakhs. The redemarcation is needed as in 2011 census the population of Thane is over 18 lakhs. Each of the ward will comprise of roughly 60,000 residents.
Sunil Chavan, additional municipal commissioner, said, “We have redrawn the boundaries of all the wards in the city based on the population census of 2011. As per the new ward formation, the number of wards is less than 50% of the existing wards. There are 33 wards and 131 corporators this time, which include four corporators for 32 wards and three for ward 33.”
In the last election, the number of wards was 65 with 130 corporators. The two panel system was implemented in the last election which has now been increased to a four panel system.
The corporation had undertaken a GIS survey of the city to demarcate wards, Chavan added. “We are now brainstorming on the final demarcation of these wards which will be sent for approval to the election commission. The 2011 census were taken into consideration while forming these wards,” he said.
The survey will also prevent political influence in demarcating the wards.
The new panel system said to benefit the BJP-led government does not seem to have gone down well with the opposition. They claim that the new panel system will create a lot of confusion affecting developmental work in the city.
Sanjay Bhoir, opposition leader of TMC, said, “The system will not help BJP or any party in anyway as it will create a lot of confusion among voters. There will not be a clear mandate due to the panel system. Last elections, there was a panel of two and still it created a lot of confusion about which corporator will develop which area. This time, if there are two strong candidates of our party in one ward and two weak, the strong candidate who has worked may suffer.”