Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday 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.
Responding to the letter of Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal said the Centre bore the entire loss of Kolkata Metro and there should be no difficulty if it provided half the funds in the case of Delhi.
“As for as your suggestion regarding a grant to DMRC for meeting the gap in their operating finances, my government is willing to bear half the grant if only a matching grant is provided by the Central Government,” Kejriwal wrote in his letter.
His letter said, “As you know, the central government and Delhi Government are 50-50 owners of DMRC and its equity etc. have been shared in this proportion all along. Let an assessment be made of the financial gap likely to be created on account of the postponement of the second fare hike and we will be able to bear half of it.
“Since the central government bears 100 per cent of loss for Kolkata Metro, I see no difficulty if it bears 50 per cent in case of Delhi. Thereafter, an FFC (Fare Fixation Committee) can be constituted, as suggested by you.”
Puri, in his letter to Kejriwal on Friday, had told Kejriwal government that it could consider reviewing hike in Metro fares if the latter agreed to pay over Rs 3,000 crore every year to DMRC. The new rates for Delhi Metro is expected to kick in from 10 October.
Last week, the urban development ministry had said it will “examine the issues” raised by Kejriwal over the proposed fare hike by the Delhi Metro. The response comes after Kejriwal’s remark that the Metro fare increase was “unacceptable.” Kejriwal had also written to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, demanding that the decision be withheld and reviewed.
A fare-fixation 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 just last revised in May. If the hike is effected, the fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10 from 10 October.
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, 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.