An RTI query has revealed that daily ridership of Delhi metro fell from 27.4 lakh to 24.2 lakh in the month of September-October. The dip in the number of commuters is attributed to the second phase of hike fare implemented on October 10 that witnessed maximum fare hike up to Rs 10. The dip in ridership has initiated a political tussle between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) blaming each other with the Congress butting and blaming both centre and state governments. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after hearing about the RTI query tweeted: “That many passengers have taken to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefited anyone.” Joining the chorus, AAP Delhi convener also blamed the fare hike claiming that it was done without taking into account the impact it would have on the lives of the people.
The Delhi BJP said that Arvind Kejriwal-led government has been playing politics with the people of the state and stated that the AAP government is as much a stakeholder as the centre. While Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken tweeted, “The fare hike results in a daily drop of 3 lakh passengers. Both the Centre and Delhi government are responsible.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Metro has claimed that the dip is not only because of fare hike , a DMRC statement read, “The drop in ridership in the month of October 2017 is not solely attributable to increase in fares, as there are otherwise monthly variations noted throughout the year. In the month of October, there were five Sundays in comparison to September with four (Sundays), where ridership is around 60-70% of the working day ridership… October started with a long weekend/extended holidays due to Dussehra falling on September 30, followed by Gandhi Jayanti on October 2″ according to a report filed by The Indian Express.
The month also witnessed extended weekends/holidays due to festivals of Diwali, Chhath Pooja, Bhai Duj, Goverdhan, etc. The ridership after the fare revision for many days was actually higher than the ridership before the fare revision.” The DMRC further stated that there was also a dip in ridership between September-October last year. The fare hike had been a point of debate between the Delhi government and the centre with Delhi government calling the fare hike an anti-people move. The centre has hit back by saying that the state government was aware of the hike from the beginning still they did not protests up on implementation.