Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday promised to launch more than 2,000 buses in the national capital within one year. The big promise from the chief minister came amid reports that more than 3,00,000 Delhiites have shunned Metro as their mode of commutation since the last train hike. Kejriwal, who was attending the launch of social media strategist Ankit Lal’s book ‘India Social’, said there is no reporting on the fare hike issue even after reports that Metro is losing its passengers. He said that launch of new buses was earlier delayed due to space issues. Speaking on the issue of smog, the chief minister held stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana as the main reason. He added that farmers should be incentivised in order to curb stubble burning. Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had said that recent metro fare hike has not benefited anyone. Kejriwal, who along with his Aam Aadmi Party, had opposed the fare hike, said that many passengers have taken to other means of transport. He said that the situation has led to increased pollution and congestion on the city’s roads. “That many passengers have taken to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefited anyone,” Kejriwal tweeted. Last month, the chief minister had termed metro fare hike “anti- people”.
AAP dominated Delhi Assembly had also passed a resolution to oppose the fare increase by the Delhi Metro Corporation. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, had alleged that it was a “conspiracy” to benefit private cab companies. As per an RTI query by a PTI correspondent, metro’s daily average ridership came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, a fall of around 11 per cent. In surprising turn, the Blue Line, considered the metro’s busiest, lost over 30 lakh commuters, according to data shared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in response to an RTI query.
The Blue line connects Dwarka region, Noida and Vaishali. This particular line covers 50 kms. The Delhi Metro, considered as lifeline of commutation, currently has 218-km network across Delhi-NCR.
Whereas in Metro’s Yellow Line, the ridership was about 19 lakh. This line is another busy part of the Delhi Metro which connects Gurgaon to north Delhi’s Samaypur Badli. As per some reports, the ridership has come down with several notches below the numbers observed in recent years.