Commuters in Delhi-NCR, who use Delhi Metro, will have to shell out extra money as the fares have been hiked . DMRC had last revised fares in 2009. The fare hike will surely put burden on passengers but the metro officials had said that it was ‘necessary’. The current revision of fares are the fourth such revision since the metro was inaugurated in 2002. The Union government had set up the 4th Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) in May last year to recommend revised fares for the Delhi Metro. The fare hike was delayed due to reservations raised over it by several authorities. It has been learned that recommendations of the Fare Fixation Committee were turned down by DMRC board of directors, according to The Indian Express report.
Notably, DMRC board of directors are comprised of officials from the Delhi government, Union Urban Development Ministry, Union Railways Ministry and others. The Arvind Kejriwal government had opposed the move, saying it would have “adverse” impact on certain sections like students and it actuallysaid that fares should be reduced, a PTI report says. “The Delhi government had told DMRC increase in fares will force commuters to shift to personal vehicles and in fact fares should be reduced. The government in its opinion had told DMRC that women and students would be adversely affected in case of a fare hike,” a government spokesperson was quoted as saying by PTI. Notably, when metro had started operations on December 25, 2002, the minimum fare was Rs 4 and maximum was Rs 8.
Now what forced DMRC to take the tough measure. Metro officials have cited several reasons.
Here are reasons why DMRC took the bold step:
1. Metro revenue director K K Saberwal said that the hike was necessitated on account of rising operating ratio, or expenditure for every Rs 100 income, the report says. It currently stands at around Rs 70, he said.
2. Annually, metro also shells out an average Rs 500 crore interest on loans it has taken from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The principal amount comes to around another Rs 600-800 crore, Saberwal said.
3. It has been learned that the hike was in tune with the recommendations of a three-member Fare Fixation Committee, which were accepted by the DMRC board headed by Union Urban Development Secretary Rajib Gauba.
4. There was an increase in the cost of electricity. Besides that cost of maintenance works has gone up forcing DMRC to hike fare, the report says.
5. There is another reason. The salaries of staff has led to the hike in fares, said the DMRC.
New fare structure:
The new minimum fare will be Rs 10, up from Rs 8, while the maximum would be Rs 50 till September, and Rs 60 from October, as against the existing Rs 30, metro chief spokesperson Anuj Dayal told a press conference.
There will be a total of six fare slabs as against the existing 15. Dayal said on Sundays and national holidays (January 26, August 15 and October 2), there would be a discount of around Rs 10 across slabs.
The new fare structure, Monday through Saturday, is: up to 2 kms — Rs 10, 2 to 5 kms — Rs 15, 5 to 12 kms — Rs 20, 12 to 21 kms — Rs 30, 21 to 32 kms — Rs 40, and for journeys of over 32 kms Rs 50.
From October 1, it would be: Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 40, Rs 50 and Rs 60 for the corresponding slabs.
The new fare structure has another feature: 10 per cent discount on travelling during off-peak hours, that is from 6AM to 8AM, 12PM to 5PM and 9PM onwards. For those using smart cards, the discount will over and above the 10 per cent they already enjoy.
The new fares would be applicable across five corridors — Blue, Yellow, Red, Green and Violet — of the metro that crisscrosses the national capital, with the total network length standing at around 213 km currently.
However, there shall be no change in the fares of Airport Express Line (Orange Line).