Metro fare hike 'conspiracy' to benefit pvt cab operators: Sisodia
New DELHI: The Delhi Assembly on Monday passed a government resolution to oppose the proposed Metro fare hike, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleging that it was a "conspiracy" for benefiting private cab operators. The resolution, moved by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, was passed by a voice vote in the House.
On Monday, participating in the discussion on the resolution, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Metro fares are being increased as "a conspiracy" so that cab aggregators Ola and Uber will be cheaper and people would give up using Metro. Without naming the Centre, Sisodia said that there was an attempt to make the Delhi Metro "premium public transport", but the AAP government would not allow it.
The deputy chief minister, during the discussion, said, "The (Delhi) Metro is being run by the money of people who don't want fares to be increased. Conspiracy is being hatched so that Ola and Uber companies will be benefited. This is being deliberately done so that the fares of Metro are more than that of taxis of private companies." He argued that if the Metro fares were expensive, people would shift to cabs, resulting in an increase in the pollution levels in Delhi.
While BJP member Jagdish Pradhan said that fares should be low, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, of the BJP, said that the recommendation to increase fares was binding. Gupta said that It would be injustice with Delhi Metro, if the proposed fare hike is not implemented.
Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel also wrote to Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, urging him to withhold the hike, citing the resolution. The Speaker Goel further said that the opposition BJP has no intention to curtail prices of petrol and diesel, despite crude oil price coming down. The Aam Aadmi Party government has locked horns with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation over the proposed hike to be enforced from October 10 –the second this year. The last hike was effected in May.
The resolution moved by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot urged the Union Urban Development Ministry to "quickly and actively intervene" so that the proposed "unlawful and anti-people fare hike" be reversed in the interest of common people and the environment. "Calls upon all the stakeholders to stop forthwith the implementation of the proposed fare hike by DMRC," the resolution reads.
Gahlot said that Delhi Metro was not made to be a world-class profitable venture but it'll be world class when people leave their vehicles and use it. Other members of the ruling AAP said that they won't allow the fares to go up and they would protest if fares were hiked. The DMRC was formed in 1995 with equal equity participation of the central government and the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.