Effective from May 21, the minimum recharge value for the DMRC smart cards will be upped to Rs 200 from Rs 100, DMRC said. Also, the minimum recharge value for a new card will be increased to Rs 100 from Rs 50. So, a new smart card will cost Rs 150 instead of Rs 100 (Rs 50 will be refundable security deposit), a DMRC spokesperson said.
According to DMRC, the changes are being brought about so that commuters dont have to stand in queues at the stations and recharge their cards too often, thus reducing their travel time and also congestion at the stations.
Most smart card users are regular travellers on the Delhi Metro. With the integration of Rapid Metro and more corridors of Phase 3, commuters are likely to cover longer distances. Thus they will need more money in their smart cards, Anuj Dayal, CPRO (DMRC), said.
So, the valid top-ups after May 21 for a card already in use will be in multiples of 100 and above Rs 200 (300, 400...so on), Dayal said.
According to DMRC, the administration charges while redeeming of smart cards will also be revised from Rs 5 to Rs 20. This will be done to discourage the frequent redeeming of smart cards.
This measure is being taken to offset the increased costs of transaction in the refund system. Almost 12,000 smart cards are redeemed every day, of which almost 1,100 are purchased and redeemed on the same day. Over 3,500 are redeemed within the same month. Once these cards are handed in, they are usually of no use because nobody wants to buy a used card, even if it is reset and fit for reuse, Dayal said.
Dayal said almost 9 lakh smart cards had been collected for refurbishment, posing a cost to DMRC.
So from May 21, if a commuter wishes to hand in the smart card, he or she will get back the value in the card plus Rs 30, he said.