The Delhi BJP today accused the Kejriwal government of evading its responsibility on the issue of metro fare hike and trying to mislead the people by playing “dirty politics”. Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari and Leader of the Opposition in Assembly Vijender Gupta, in a statement, said that the Delhi government has a 50 per cent stake in DMRC and there can be no fare hike without its consent. However, the Kejriwal government has taken the stand that it had opposed any hike in fares in the Fare Fixation Committee meeting held in September last year. The Delhi CM has said that the committee ought not to have overlooked the Delhi government’s objections to the hike in metro fares. Tiwari and Gupta have said they will meet DMRC chief Mangu Singh to demand withdrawal of the hike which is proposed to come into effect from October 10.
They have also said that the proposed hike be put on hold till completion of the third phase of Delhi metro. Both claimed that with the prior consent of the Delhi government, its chief secretary, finance secretary and the transport commissioner joined DMRC’s Fare Fixation Committee meeting and approved a 50 per cent raise in fares to be implemented in two phases — May and October 2017. They alleged that the implementation date was postponed to May as the Delhi Municipal Polls were scheduled in April 2017.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot, meanwhile, has said in a statement that the Delhi Chief Secretary and transport commissioner were not present in the DMRC board meeting of May 8 when the decision to hike fares was taken. 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. The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms — Rs 10, 2-5 kms — Rs 15, 5-12 kms — Rs 20, 12-21 kms — Rs 30, 21-32 kms — Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms — Rs 50. From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20.
For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs 60. The Delhi Metro, 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.