Delhi Metro fare hike: Transport minister warns DMRC of action

Delhi Metro

On increase in the fare of metro twice in five months, the minister said that FFC recommended that the fare hike, which last happened in 2009, should be divided into two instalments, therefore, one came into force in May this year and the second increase will be effective from 10th October. However, Centre should provide the other half of the funds.

The Centre has informed the Kejriwal government that its request to put on hold the proposed Metro fare hike is "legally untenable" as the recommendations of the tariff committee can not be "tempered" with. Citing Section 86 of the DMRC Act, Kejriwal said contention by the Union minister that the central government is "powerless" in respect of fare fixation is also flawed for another reason, arguing it was the Centre which had set up the fourth FFC after a lapse of seven years.

In his letter to Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the CM wrote, "If the central government agrees, the Delhi government would be willing to take over DMRC". Quoting FFC, the letter said that while the non-fare revenue in places like Hong Kong was over 40-60%, the count was just 23% for Delhi Metro.

Board has three Delhi government representatives: the chief secretary, principal secretary (finance) and the transport secretary. "As you know, the central government and the Delhi government are 50-50 owners of DMRC, its equity etc. have been shared in this proportion all along", Kejriwal wrote.

The Metro fare hike, expected to be implemented by DMRC next week, will hike the minimum ticket price to Rs 30, whereas, the maximum fare would go as high as Rs 50.

"In case the State Government agrees to provide grants-in-aid of almost Rs 3,000 crore per annum to DMRC, then another FFC may be constituted, which may also examine the financial viability of DMRC", said Puri in the letter accessed by HT. "However, till that happens, let the spirit of partnership prevail and I do hope that you will and a mutually acceptable solution to the present impasse relating to the second fare hike which we clearly regard as anti-people", the letter said.

From 10 October, for a distance of up to 2 kilometres, the fare will remain Rs10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs15 to Rs20.

"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". For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs60.

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