The Centre’s Narendra Modi government has told Delhi’s Arvind 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. This was suggested to AAP government by Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri in his letter to Kejriwal, PTI quoted a source as saying.
The new rates for Delhi Metro is expected to kick in from 10 October.
The source said Puri suggested such a provision since operational loss was the responsibility of the state government as per the metro guidelines.
Kejriwal had written to the Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry to issue a direction to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to put on hold the proposed hike in fares, as recommended by 4th Fare Fixation Committee (FCC).
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.
In response, the source said, Puri in a letter to the chief minister yesterday said, “Your suggestion that this ministry direct that the fare increase be kept on hold overlooks the fact the central government does not have any such authority. Tampering with the recommendations of FFC is legally untenable.”
The source said Puri also annexed with his letter a written response from DMRC which said “The Committees (FFC) recommendations are binding on the Metro Rail Administrations as per provisions of Section-37 of this Act (Metro Act).
“Neither the Central Government nor the State Government or even the Board of the Company has legal power to change the recommendations made by the FFC.”
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 ₹10 from October 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, 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.