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The AAP and the BJP today blamed each other for the Delhi Metro fare hike while the Congress held both the Centre and the state government responsible for it, after an RTI query revealed that the public transporter lost over three lakh commuters a day due to the fare increase. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the fare hike has not benefited anyone as people switched to other modes of public transport. "That many passengers have taken to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefited anyone," he tweeted. Blaming the BJP-led Centre, Delhi Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Gopal Rai said that the metro fares were hiked "adamantly" despite opposition by the party. The AAP, led by Kejriwal and his ministers, had vociferously opposed the hike. Last month, Kejriwal had called metro fare hike "anti- people". Delhi BJP too hit out at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the fare hike and held the Kejriwal government responsible for it. "We had been saying that Delhi Metro should think over the hike.
It is a public transporter whose basic goal is to make the roads less crowded by providing mass transit. "However, the Kejriwal government cannot escape the blame for fare hike as it is also a stakeholder in Delhi Metro," said party spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor. The BJP ruled-Centre had strongly supported the fare hike, with Urban Development minister Hardeep Puri justifying it by saying that Delhi Metro will turn into loss-making Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken blamed the Delhi government and the Centre for the fare hike and loss of commuters by the metro rail. "The fare hike results in a daily drop of 3 lakh passengers. Both Centre and Delhi government are responsible," Maken said in a tweet. On October 10, the DMRC effected the fare hike, leading to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100 per cent. According to the RTI query by a PTI correspondent, the metro's daily average ridership came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, a fall of around 11 per cent.