A war of word has erupted between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri over the affordability of Metro train for ordinary citizen in the national capital.
This was after a recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment found that after the fare hike last year, Delhi metro had become the second-most unaffordable service in the world among the cities that charge less than half a US dollar for a trip.
Reacting to the study, Kejriwal Wednesday called the development “very sad” adding that an important means of transport has become out of reach of common man.
A day later, Puri took a dig at Kejriwal asking him to instead look at the state of public transport system that comes under his government which lacks 7,000 buses.
Puri, who holds the Ministry of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Puri, was quoted by PTI as saying, “My good friend – the chief minister of Delhi – was expressing sadness that so many people have moved away from the metro. The report has been produced by people who are reasonably credible but they have an agenda where they are not comparing an orange with an orange. What they end up doing was completely falsifying the facts.
“If somebody wants to be sad, they should be sad about the fact that the other public transport in Delhi which comes under the government which has a sanction of 11,000 buses is about 7,000 short.”
Reacting to Puri’s comments, Delhi chief minister took to Twitter and asked if the steep hike in Metro prices was justified. He wrote, “Sir, even the Delhi Metro belongs to us Delhiite, doesn’t it? Was it justified to increase the fare for Metro? When the entire world is saying that the fare should be brought down, then please agree to it. We are trying our best to buy buses. The Delhi High Court has stayed our order to purchase new buses. We are trying to get the stay removed.”
सर, मेट्रो भी तो हम दिल्ली के लोगों की है ना। क्या मेट्रो का किराया बढ़ना ठीक है? सारी दुनिया कह रही है कि किराया घटना चाहिए तो मान भी जाइए ना
हम बसें ख़रीदने की पूरी कोशिश कर रहे हैं। दिल्ली हाई कोर्ट ने बसों की ख़रीद पर स्टे लगा दिया है। स्टे हटवाने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं pic.twitter.com/zJ8jlFDRdT
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 7, 2018
This is not the first time both Puri and Kejriwal have indulged in public spat over the price hike for Delhi Metro. In October last year, Kejriwal had said that his government was willing to take over the DMRC to make it more efficient adding that his government was ready to provide half the funds needed to meet the gap in its finances.
This was in response to a letter to by Puri, who had told the Kejriwal government that he could consider reviewing the hike in Metro fares if the Delhi government agreed to pay over Rs 3,000 crore every year to DMRC.