15 March 2012
For the first time in almost a decade, India will increase train ticket prices, as part of a bid to modernise its ageing rail network. The government will invest billions of dollars to improve safety and update trains and tracks, which are in some cases decades old.
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More than 22 million people use India's rail network every single day - it's been a central mode of transport for people here since trains first started running in India in the 1800s, but many passengers say the trains and tracks are in dire need of modernisation.
In its annual railways budget the Indian government has pledged to build new tracks and carriages, and to modernise signalling, to improve safety and reduce the thousands of deaths which happen on the tracks every year.
But all this costs money. As well as investing 147 billion dollars in the next five years, it's announced a modest increase in ticket prices. This could be an unpopular move - there hasn't been a fare hike in the country for almost a decade. Members of railways minister Dinesh Trivedi's own party have criticised the move, saying fare increases should not have been made as they will hit the poorest.
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- in dire need
controlling the direction of the trains
- modest increase
- fare hike
sudden increase in ticket price
- hit the poorest
affect disadvantaged people