New Delhi: Air fares have gone up on Mumbai-Delhi, Chennai-Delhi, Hyderabad-Delhi, Bangalore-Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram-Delhi sectors as Railways have cancelled many trains to Delhi and a few other destinations in the north in the wake of fire accident in the Route Relay Interlocking Cabin at Itarsi railway station that which has thrown Rail traffic out of gear and into disarray on one of the major railway junctions in the country.
Southern Railway has cancelled Chennai-Delhi and Delhi-Chennai Grand Trunk express trains on Monday and Hazrat Nizamuddin-Madurai Sampark Kranti bi-weekly express on Tuesday as normal traffic has not been restored via Itarsi. The Lucknow-Chennai Central bi-weekly express scheduled to depart on Monday and a Jaipur-Chennai train scheduled to reach the city on Sunday have also been cancelled.
This has pushed up air fares by more than 50% as there is a temporary demand for air tickets from travelers who cannot cancel their trips. A one-way ticket is selling at Rs 8,500 when it should be only Rs 4,000 to Delhi in the economy class. Travellers from Lucknow and Jaipur will have to fly via Delhi to reach destinations like Chennai, Secunderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram.
Travellers who have been affected because of the disruption in train services include students who had booked their travel in advance for admission in different colleges.
A senior railway official said that the cancellation would affect future services as rakes would be stuck at either of the destination stations. “It will take a day or two for the services to come back to normal,” he added.
Basheer Ahmed of Metro Travels said that “As there is not much of a demand for seats in June and July, arlines have sold most of their seats by floating special discounts and offers. The temporary surge in demand has come at a time when most of the seats have been sold and discounts have been withdrawn. This has pushed up the prices.”
“When the offers were running, fares were in the range of Rs 4,000 to 5,000 for one way. Now, it has gone up above Rs 8,000. Fares are high now because seats are less,” he added.
As fire in the route relay interlocking cabin has affected signaling system at Itarsi railway station, more than 500 trains passing through Bhopal division of West Central Railway were cancelled since last one week and more than 200 trains have been cancelled for next three days. Most of the trains that travel from southern India to the north pass through this major railway junction.