Govt asks DMRC to put Metro fare hike on hold
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Thursday directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) to hold an impending fare hike till the government completes an inquiry on the proposed increase, Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Thursday.
The direction came after DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh met Gahlot over the fare hike, which will come into effect from October. The fares could increase by a minimum of Rs 10 from next month.
"The proposed fare hike by Delhi Metro is likely to adversely affect the interests of a large number of commuters in Delhi. The government is completely against any hike in Metro fares," added Gahlot.
He said it was not clear whether the Delhi government's stand was considered by the fare fixation committee of Delhi Metro, adding that a meeting took place between the Delhi government and Singh.
The minister's directive came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked Gahlot to find a way to stop the "anti-people" Metro fare hike within a week. Gahlot also sought "all relevant records of (the) uncalled fare hike".
"Metro fare hike is anti-people move. Have ordered ... Gahlot to find a solution to stop fare hike," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted early Thursday morning.
The existing fare structure is Rs 10 for journeys up to a distance of two kilometres, Rs 15 for two to five km, Rs 20 for five to 12 km, Rs 30 for 12 to 21 km, Rs 40 for 21 to 32 km, Rs 50 for journeys of over 32 km.
This would be the second time that Metro fares are set to increase this year. The last increase was in May when the minimum fare went up from Rs 8 to Rs 10.
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, the prices were hiked.
After the hike in May, the DMRC – in an RTI reply – had acknowledged a slump in Metro ridership. The Metro fares rose following recommendations of the fourth Fare Fixation Committee.