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Delhi Government Asks DMRC to Put Off Impending Metro Fare Hike

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also termed the fare hike by the Delhi Metro as "anti-people" and directed Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot to find a solution within a week to prevent its implementation.

PTI

Updated:September 28, 2017, 8:15 PM IST
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Delhi Government Asks DMRC to Put Off Impending Metro Fare Hike
(Picture courtesy: Twitter) (Representative Image)
New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday directed the DMRC to put off an impending fare hike till the Transport Department completes its inquiry to ascertain whether the view of the city administration was considered while taking the decision.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also termed the fare hike as "anti-people" and directed Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot to find a solution within a week to prevent its implementation.

The direction came after Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Chief Mangu Singh met Gahlot over the fare hike, which will come into effect from October.

This would be the second hike in metro fares this year. The fares were last revised in May. From October, ticket prices will go up by a maximum of Rs 10.

In his order, the transport minister said the proposed hike in metro fares was likely to affect a large number of commuters in Delhi and that the government was completely against any such move.

"It is not clear as to whether the stand of the Delhi government was considered by the Fare Fixation Committee. The government is in the process of examining the entire matter.

"In the meanwhile, the Delhi Metro is directed to put on hold any further hike till the Delhi government completes its inquiry and forms an opinion on this subject," Gahlot said in an order.

When asked, the DMRC declined to comment on the issue. Talking to reporters, Gahlot said that at the meeting with the DMRC chief, he examined all files related to the fare hike.

The minister said there were five members each from the Centre and the Delhi government in the Board of Metro and that the chief secretary has been given a copy of the order.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal tweeted: "The Metro fare hike is anti-people. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has been directed to find a solution to prevent hike in metro fares within a week."

At present, the minimum fare is Rs 10. Before that, it was Rs 8. The maximum fare is Rs 50.

The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms -- Rs 10, 2 to 5 kms -- Rs 15, 5 to 12 kms -- Rs 20, 12 to 21 kms -- Rs 30, 21 to 32 kms -- Rs 40, and for journeys of over 32 kms Rs 50.

Asked why the government did not oppose the increase in Metro fares in May, an official said the Transport Department had in June 2016 written to the DMRC not to increase the fares. Nevertheless, a decision was taken to hike the prices.

A month after the implementation of the fare hike in May, the DMRC in an RTI reply had acknowledged a slump in metro ridership.

According to the RTI reply, the average daily ridership of the metro in June was 25.7 lakh. The corresponding period last year, when newer sections were yet to be launched, had seen 27.2 lakh people using the network everyday.

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