GUWAHATI: With the floods in parts of Bihar and West Bengal cutting off the road and railway connectivity with the Northeast, the airlines are hiking fares manifold by taking advantage of the situation.
Normally, Guwahati-Kolkata flight fare is anything between Rs.2000 and Rs.3000. If the ticket is booked 48 hours ahead of a journey, the fare is anything between Rs.2500 and Rs.4000. At 5 pm on Monday, the lowest fare for the journey to Kolkata from Guwahati on August 15 was Rs.7570.
Similarly, the Guwahati-New Delhi fare is usually less than Rs.5000. It has shot up to a minimum of Rs.7820. The highest fare on both routes for the journey on August 15 was over Rs.30,000 with multiple stops.
A Guwahati-based citizen, Rajibaksha Rakshit, booked a Guwahati-Kolkata ticket for Tuesday at Rs.7500. He is miffed.
“They (airlines) are clearly taking advantage of the situation. I visit Kolkata at least once a month. Never before did I book a ticket at such a high price,” he told the New Indian Express.
The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) cancelled and short terminated a number of trains as many rivers in its Kathiar (Bihar) and Alipurduar (West Bengal) divisions were in a spate.
“The railway board has decided to cancel all incoming trains from various parts of the country towards the Northeast. Trains were plying from New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri to Guwahati,” the NFR said in a statement on Monday.
It also said that passengers were stranded at Kathiar and Guwahati.
“Many passengers went back by the same train which brought them to Guwahati and Kathiar. Some passengers got off at the two places hoping that the water will recede,” NFR chief spokesman Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.
Airfares offered by yatra.com at 5 pm on Monday for the journey on Tuesday are as follows.
Indigo (direct) Rs.7570
Jet Airways (via Silchar) Rs.8196
Air India (via Imphal) Rs.8396
Spicejet (direct) Rs.8616
Air Asia Rs.8080
Go Air Rs.8207
Air India (via Imphal and Kolkata) Rs.16541