Delhi Metro fare hike: Ministry to examine issues raised by Delhi CM

The Urban Affairs Ministry will “examine the issues” raised by Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal over the proposed fare hike by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), a senior official said on Sunday.

Terming the fare increase as “unacceptable”, Kejriwal had written to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, demanding that the decision be withheld and reviewed.

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According to a ministry spokesperson, the minister Hardeep Puri has asked UD Secretary DS Mishra to examine the issues raised by Delhi CM over the proposed DMRC fare hike.

Kejriwal in his letter to Puri said, the fare-fixation panel had recommended a gap of one year between two fare hikes and it will be violation of the recommendations if implemented, as the duration between the two fare hike is only six months.

The committee, comprising representatives of both the state and the Centre, which have equal stakes in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is entrusted with recommending fare hikes.

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The Delhi Metro fares were last revised in May. If the hike is effected, the fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10 from October 10.

After the hike, it will cost commuters between Rs 10 and Rs 60 to ride the metro. The minimum fare, Rs. 10, is set to remain the same for less than two kilometre. For distances between two and five kilometres, the fare will be hiked by Rs 5 from Rs 15 to Rs 20. For all other distance zones, fares will increase by Rs 10, with the maximum fare for journeys longer than 32 km, increasing from Rs 50 to Rs 60.

The DMRC, on its part, has been maintaining that it has a “huge loan liability” and a rapidly rising operating ratio, which means its expenditure as against every rupee earned is going up.

In his letter, Kejriwal had referred to the financial model of the Hong Kong Metro and advised them to raise funds through properties allotted to it by the government. If done efficiently and transparently, the process would significantly improve DMRC’s finances and lead to a much lower fare hike.

Delhi CM also mentioned that his assertion was based on the “advise” of the fare-fixation panel.