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Opinion | The railways lose steam
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New Delhi, Dec. 3 -- The Comptroller and Auditor General has flagged deteriorating finances of Indian Railways. The national rail carrier's so-called "operating ratio" (OR) reached a decade's low point in 2017-18, when the national transporter spent Rs.98.44 to earn every Rs.100 (an OR of 98.44). This is a steady decline from 2015-16, when the Railways spent Rs.90.49 to earn Rs.100. Rail Bhavan now uses almost all the money it makes on hauling freight-about 95% of these profits-to subsidize passenger traffic. In some categories of travel, the subsidy shoots up to 70% of the cost of ferrying a passenger. Dynamic pricing of fares for air-conditioned coaches has helped cover costs, but ordinary passengers still get rides that are almost free...
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