Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday demanded a rollback of fare hike for Delhi Metro tickets while his party, AAP, threatened to launch mass protests against the central government’s move.
Terming the proposed fare hike as “unacceptable”, Kejriwal wrote to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, stating that the move would be in violation of the recommendations of the fare-fixation panel.
He said, “The fare-fixation committee had recommended a gap of one year between two fare hikes. This recommendation is being completely violated because the proposed second hike in October, 2017 will take place even before six months since the previous fare hike.”
The committee, comprising representatives of both the state and the Centre, which have equal stakes in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is entrusted with recommending fare hikes.
The Delhi Metro fares were last revised in May. If the hike is effected from 10 October as planned, then the fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10.
The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms — Rs 10, 2-5 kms — Rs 15, 5-12 kms — Rs 20, 12-21 kms — Rs 30, 21-32 kms — Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms — Rs 50.
From 10 October, according to a PTI report, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20.
For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs 60.
“The chief minister has pointed out that the residents of Delhi are still reeling under the impact of the previous steep fare hike by the DMRC in the month of May and the proposed second fare hike from 10th October will be simply unacceptable in this time of economic distress,” an official statement quoted Kejriwal as saying.
Meanwhile, AAP has threatened to launch protests against the proposed fare hike. A delegation of AAP MLAs is scheduled to meet DMRC chief Mangu Singh on Monday with a demand to put the decision on hold.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), meanwhile, said on Saturday that hike in the metro fare was necessary to meet the input costs and to keep providing world class service to the passengers commuting through it.
In a press release, the DMRC said that since 2009, there has been no increase in fare whereas the input cost for metro service has increased by over 105 percent in Energy, 139 percent in staff cost and by 213 percent for repair and maintenance.
“To continue to provide a world class service, it is essential to operate as a healthy organisation. Keeping this in view, the provision has been made for the periodic revision of fares through a Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) in the Delhi Metro Operations & Maintenance Act, 2002,” ANI quoted the DMRC statement.