New Delhi: Railways is exploring the prospect of levying airport-like UDF (User Development Fee) on its redeveloped stations, which will result in a hike in fares, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said on Wednesday. UDF is one of the taxes levied on air passengers and makes up a part of the air fare. It is charged at various airports and its rate varies based on various factors.
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At a media briefing, Yadav said that the fee will vary across the newly developed stations depending on the footfall. He said that the Ministry of Railways will soon notify the amount to be charged.
‘UDF will be used to fund upgradation of railways staions’
“The user development fee, along the lines of a levy charged by airport operators, will be used to help fund the upgradation of stations. The charges will be nominal,” Yadav said. He added that the levy of the fee will only result in marginal increase in fares which would be compensated by user experience of world-class stations.
The Railways has sought bids to redevelop Amritsar, Nagpur, Gwalior and Sabarmati railway stations at an estimated cost of Rs 1,296 crore. It is set to invite more bids to redevelop 50 stations through the Indian Railway Station Redevelopment Corporation Ltd (IRSDC) at an investment of around Rs 50,000 crore in 2020-21.
400 stations to be redeveloped
The government had announced plans to redevelop 400 railway stations in its first term. According to the plan, the cost of the redevelopment project was supposed to be met by leveraging commercial development of land and air space in and around the stations. The railway stations were taken up for redevelopment based on financial viability.