West Bengal Development Minister Udayan Guha has alleged that fares of the Vande Bharat Express are are steeper than normal while their speed is normal.
Speaking at an event here on Friday Guha said, "Normal train has been renamed as Vande Bharat Train, and the fare of a high-speed train is being charged.
"If it's a high-speed train, then why it's taking eight hours from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri? Don't use people's money for painting a normal train as Vande Bharat," Guha said.
Guha's statement came days after stones were thrown at a Vande Bharat train near the Phansidewa area of the Darjeeling district resulting in damage to two of its window panes.
State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dismissed the claims and said the incidents had occurred in Bihar and not West Bengal. She also said that action will be taken against those spreading rumours.
Meanwhile, the Railways on Thursday said that it has started an investigation to identify people involved in the stone pelting incident based on the video footage and pictures from the CCTV cameras fitted with the Howrah - New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat train rake.
"Initiatives have been taken to pinpoint the pelters and suitable action is being taken for conducting legal and penal proceedings against the offenders," the Railway said in a statement on Thursday.
On January 3, two window panes of the Vande Bharat Express train were left damaged after stones were pelted on the two coaches near the Phansidewa area of the Darjeeling district.
"A case has been registered against unidentified persons under section 154 of the Railways Act. One main door glass was affected. No passenger was injured. Due to this, the train was not delayed," the Indian Railways said.
On January 2, the window panes on a Vande Bharat Express were broken as stones were thrown at the train connecting Howrah to New Jalpaiguri near Malda.
(with inputs from ANI)