Centre and Delhi government lock horns about proposed Metro fare hike

The hike is proposed to be implemented on October 10

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.

Managing Director Mangu Singh that the government would take action against him if he goes ahead with the proposed Metro fare hike.

Gahlot in a letter addressed to the DMRC chief said that Singh was nominated by the Delhi government "to put forward the view point of Delhi government in the Board meetings of DMRC" and added "If the government feels its views are not being presented, the government shall be constrained to act as per the prevalent and applicable rules and regulations".

Board has three Delhi government representatives: the chief secretary, principal secretary (finance) and the transport secretary.

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According to media reports, the Center has said that it will consider the setting up of a fresh Fare Fixation Committee if the Delhi government agrees to give over Rs.3,000 crpre every year to the DMRC. However, "as per Metro Railways (Operations and Maintenance) Act 2002, DMRC or both the central and state governments can neither effect a fare hike or put it on hold after recommended by FFC", a source said. "Tampering with the recommendations of FFC is legally untenable", Puri said in his letter.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is owned by the Centre and State in a 50:50 joint venture. The move will adversely impact 27 lakh commuters of Delhi Metro. As you know, the Central Government and the Delhi Government are 50:50 owners of the DMRC and its equity has been shared in this proportion all along.

"The Committee's (FFC) recommendations are binding on the Metro Rail Administrations as per provisions of Section-37 of this Act (Metro Act)". "Let an assessment be made of the financial gap likely to be created on account of the postponement of the second fare hike and we will be able to bear half of it". The existing fare structure is: up to 2 km - Rs 10, 2-5 km - Rs 15, 5-12 km - Rs 20, 12-21 km - Rs 30, 21-32 km - Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms - Rs 50.

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. For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs60.

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