The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to implement its second fare revision in eight years on October 10. The Delhi Metro fare hike is scheduled for Tuesday. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA), Hardeep Singh Puri has told the Delhi government that it would need to pay Rs 3,000 crore annually for five years to stop this rise in the fare. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written to HUA Ministry to issue a direction to DMRC to put on hold the proposed hike in fares, as recommended by 4th Fare Fixation Committee (FCC). Kejriwal also deemed the decision of fare hike as “anti-people”, reported the Indian Express. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP party has also threatened to launch a protest over the hike. In his response to the letter, Puri wrote, “In case the state government agrees to provide grants-in-aid of nearly Rs 3,000 crore per annum to DMRC, then another FFC (Fare Fixation Committee) may be constituted, which may also examine DMRC’s financial viability,” reported the Indian Express.
As per the report, Puri said the FFC had suggested the hike. He maintained that the operational loss is the responsibility of the state government, as per Metro guidelines. “Your suggestion that this Ministry direct that the fare increase be kept on hold overlooks the fact the Centre does not have any such authority. Tampering with the recommendations of the FFC is legally untenable,” Puri said. As of now, the Delhi government sources said the CM is yet to receive the letter.
Puri also maintained the fact that neither the Central Government nor the State Government or even the Board of the Company has legal power to change the recommendations made by the FFC. Further expressing his concern over the 15-month delay in completion of Metro Phase III and Phase IV which running behind schedule, in his letter Puri pinned the blame on the Delhi government.