Minister warns DMRC chief of action — Metro fare hike

The hike is proposed to be implemented on October 10

The hike is proposed to be implemented on October 10

The Centre has informed the Delhi government that the Metro Act does not allow it to put on hold the hike in Delhi metro fares, which will be effective from October 10.

CM has offered to bear half the grant for three months on a short-term basis.

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. Discriminating so sharply between the people of Kolkata and Delhi does not appear to be reasonable by any standards and this fact can not be completely overlooked", wrote Kejriwal. Sources said the ministry had earlier raised questions on contract management for delay in meeting the December 2016 deadline.

The last revision of fares were undertaken in 2009. The response comes after Kejriwal's remark that the Metro fare increase was "unacceptable". Kejriwal also said most of the commuter travel between 5 and 21 kilometres segment in the Metro and this is going to hurt the common people.

MoS Puri's letter, dated October 6, to Kejriwal Government came in after Arvind Kejriwal, on September 29, had asked the Central Government to put the fare hike on hold.

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. The Delhi Metro is used by over 30 lakh people every day in the national Capital region that includes parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

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.

He has added if the fares are not increased as per the recommendations of the FFC, the total grants-in-aid required in the next five years starting from 2017-18 till 2021-22 would be Rs 3,040 crore, 3,616 crore, 3,318 crore, 3,150 crore and 2,980 crore respectively to take care of loan repayments, depreciation for replacements and operational expenses with no savings to DMRC.

"If the Central Government agrees, the Delhi Government would be willing to take over the DMRC". Therefore, Mr Puri's contention that the Centre was "powerless" in respect of fare fixation was "flawed". IANS further reported that the letter also said that an assessment should also be made of the financial gap likely to be created on account of the postponement of the second fare hike.

"I can understand your reservation about issuing a direction under the said Section 86".

Puri said that Centre can not legally chalk off the fare hike in Delhi Metro as proposed by fare fixation committee (FFC), the panel set up to review the ticket price. In the present case, Singh was a nominee of the Delhi government and his appointment was approved by the former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

'Blade Runner 2049' Crashes at Box Office With $31.5 Million
Four of a family, guard killed in Delhi home