Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ministry pits Garib Rath to take on budget airlines

New Delhi: Sitting on a cash pile, which is only expected to grow, railway minister Lalu Prasad on Saturday threw down the gauntlet at low cost carriers, saying the Garib Rath could spoil the private airlines' party.
While the no-frills all-AC Garib Rath, launched earlier this week, was seen as a populist move, it offers passengers the option to travel at 40% lower cost, provided they are willing to last the journey in a slightly cramped compartment — since the number of seats in every coach has been increased — and carry their own food and linen. For instance, an AC three-tier ticket on the Amritsar-Saharsa Garib Rath costs Rs 695, compared with Rs 1,179 on other trains.
So far, even the cheapest air ticket on a budget airline is linked to the AC three-tier non-Garib Rath train.
07/10/06 Times of India