Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Centre can not put Delhi Metro fare hike on hold, says Minister

Centre can not put Delhi Metro fare hike on hold, says Minister

"It is the view of the commission that before imposing a steep fare hike on the ordinary citizens of Delhi, all efforts and avenues of generating non-fare revenue as well as seeking revenue support from the Centre/state should have been exhausted".

If Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wants to keep Delhi metro fares low, then the city government should contribute almost ₹3,000 crore per annum for the next five years to meet the DMRC's operational losses, Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has suggested.

The source said Puri also annexed with his letter a written response from DMRC which said "The Committee's (FFC) recommendations are binding on the Metro Rail Administrations as per provisions of Section-37 of this Act (Metro Act)".

Puri said that Centre can not legally chalk off the fare hike in Delhi Metro as proposed by fare fixation committee (FFC), the panel set up to review the ticket price.

Puri added that if the Delhi government agreed to pay Rs 3,000 crore annually to the DMRC, setting up a fresh Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) could be considered.

Delhi CM also urged the DMRC to follow the financial model of the Hong Kong Metro and has advised the corporation to raise funds through properties allotted to it by the government.

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On Thursday, Gahlot had asked Chief Secretary MM Kutty to call a meeting of all Delhi government-nominated Directors on the DMRC Board.

"As for as your suggestion regarding a grant to DMRC for meeting the gap in their operating finances, my government is willing to bear half the grant if only a matching grant is provided by the Central Government", Kejriwal wrote in his letter.

The Delhi government has been opposing the proposed Metro fare hike from October 10. "In case the state government agrees to provide grants-in-aid of almost Rs 3,000 crore per annum to DMRC, then another fare fixation committee (FFC) may be constituted which may examine the financial viability of DMRC in the context of state government's additional financial commitment".

His letter said, "As you know, the central government and Delhi Government are 50-50 owners of DMRC and its equity etc. have been shared in this proportion all along".

From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20. "Thereafter, an FFC (Fare Fixation Committee) can be constituted, as suggested by you". For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs60.

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