As Western Railways has announced a mega block for track and signalling upgrading, at least 36 trains have been cancelled between Ahmedabad and Mumbai till the evening of August 28. This has resulted in an astounding spike in airfares on the route — even up to 5 times in some slots. While the usual fare hovers around Rs 3,000, current prices have skyrocketed to over Rs 12,000.
The surge in airfares is a direct consequence of the 56-hour megablock scheduled just before Rakshabandhan on the Surat-Udhna route. This block, aimed at adding a third railway track, will be in effect from August 26, 9.30 am, to August 28, 5.30 pm.
The disruption has impacted around 75,000 passengers who were planning to travel during this time for the festival of Rakshabandhan.
Many passengers are miffed at this development, with no prior information from the railways.
“The authorities should’ve informed us at least 6-7 days in advance. Had we known earlier, we could’ve explored other options. With flight prices now two to five times higher, it’s out of my budget. They should at least offer ticket refunds,” a passenger said.
However, a railway official said, “Every affected passenger will receive a refund. Online bookings will be refunded directly to bank accounts. Those who purchased tickets at the window can present their tickets there for a refund.” Passengers have also been urged to verify train availability on the official websites.
However, the mega block has caused inconvenience to thousands, who are unable to afford a flight ticket at this time and have ended up with their schedules going haywire.