House sets up panel to look into Metro fare hike
The nine-member committee will look into the financial health and other related issues of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Assembly on Tuesday decided to set up a nine-member committee to look into the financial health and other related issues of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC).
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, on the second day of special Assembly session, nominated members to the committee, which will also look into the rationale behind the fare hike.
The proposal to set up the committee was moved by Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti in the house, and agreed upon by other members.
The second Metro fare hike – the second this year after May – came into effect on Tuesday, despite strong opposition from the AAP-led Delhi government
During discussion in the house, many AAP MLAs dubbed the hike as a "conspiracy to help cab aggregators like Ola and Uber".
AAP MLA Sanjeev Jha initiated the discussion and said they were ready to protest and do everything possible to force reversal of the fare hike. His party colleague Saurabh Bharadwaj termed the hike a "conspiracy to help cab aggregators like Uber and Ola".
"Compared with the current Metro fare, Ola Share is cheaper now," Bhardwaj said. He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken excessive interest in Ola in the past and even praised one of their drivers on Twitter.
AAP MLA Alka Lamba dubbed Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and central government as "dictatorial" and said her party will hit the streets and force the Centre to reverse the fare hike.
Delhi Health minister Satyendar Jain the fare hike will lead to reduced ridership and subsequent loss to the DMRC. He added that the move will also lead to traffic congestion and increased pollution levels in Delhi He also reiterated the AAP government's stand that a "conspiracy" has been hatched to benefit private cab operators with the new move.
Another AAP minister Gopal Rai said that his party will launch a 'satyagraha' on Wednesday to demand rollback of the hike. He said supporters will launch protests outside all Metro stations and gherao Nirman Bhawan, the office of the Urban Development Ministry.
Meanwhile, BJP legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sat on the Fare Fixation Committee report on fare hike for four months and acted only at the last moment, claiming he was in fact helping Ola and Uber.