Barely a fortnight after assuming the post of Lieutenant Governor of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Anil Baijal got into a confrontation with the Arvind Kejriwal government. Casting reservations about the Delhi government’s plan to slash bus fares by almost 70 per cent, the L-G questioned the economic viability of the decision citing finance department’s remark about the debt-ridden DTC suffering further losses if bus fares are slashed, according to The Indian Express report. The decision to reduce fares – aimed at encouraging people to use public transport- was originally mooted by Baijal’s predecessor, Najeeb Jung. Baijal returned the proposal, intended “to encourage more people to switch to public transport”, and has asked the Delhi government to “reconsider” the decision, the report said.
Jung, in December, suggested that the move be implemented for two months this season when pollution levels tend to spike. The Delhi government had even expressed its readiness to implement the order, with Transport Minister Satyendar Jain announcing that bus fares would be slashed in January. Tickets for non-AC buses were to be at a uniform rate of Rs 5 and those for AC buses at Rs 10 for any distance travelled. Non-AC bus tickets ordinarily cost between Rs 5 and Rs 15 and AC buses cost between Rs 10 and Rs 25.
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The development has hinted about a not so rosy relationship between the constitutional head of Delhi and ruling dispensation of the national capital. It is well known when happed during former L-G Najeeb Jung’s eventful tenure. Jung and the AAP government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues. The prickly relationship between Jung and Kejriwal has grabbed eyeballs as well as made headlines. A good rapport between Baijal and the Kejriwal government is crucial given Delhi’s complex administrative structure.