So Mr Bansal either has to go back to the drawing board, and the Congress party, to figure out how he can make good the extra expenses. If not, he has to live with the passenger losses which are growing at around R2,000-3,000 crore each year. Compared to the Rs 14 lakh crore the Railways needs to invest over the next decade, the passenger fare hike is insignificant. But if more private players are to be brought in as PPP investors—that is the only way out eventually—or as lenders, Bansal needs to stop the Railways from haemorrhaging. For that, another passenger fare hike is critical.