The AAP government has been embroiled in a political tussle with BJP and Congress since the RTI query revealed that the daily ridership of Delhi metro fell from 27.4 lakh to 24.2 lakh in the month of September-October.
Union Minister of State Hardeep Singh Puri lashed out at Delhi and Central governments on Saturday by saying that neither of them has the authority to decide the fares of Delhi Metro. “When fare is increased, its impact is studied by taking into account data of at least 2-3 months. Neither Delhi govt nor central govt has authority to decide fares of Delhi Metro, only fare fixation committee can do that. Have made public the report published by them,” he said. The Union Minister’s reaction came after Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday tweeted that the steep fare hike will kill Delhi metro. The AAP supremo in a tweet questioned the use of metro if people stopped using it. The AAP government has been embroiled in a political tussle with BJP and Congress since the RTI query revealed that the daily ridership of Delhi metro fell from 27.4 lakh to 24.2 lakh in the month of September-October.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Friday, 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.” AAP Delhi convener, joining the battle, 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.
Kejriwal along with his Aam Aadmi Party had opposed the fare hike and had said that many passengers have taken to other means of transport, leading to increased pollution and congestion on the city’s roads. 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 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″.
DMRC statement further read that the month also witnessed extended weekends/holidays due to festivals like Diwali, Chhath Puja, Bhai Duj, Govardhan Puja, etc. The statement observed that the ridership after the fare revision for many days was actually higher than the ridership before the fare revision.