Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
on Sunday called for putting on hold the proposed hike of Delhi
Metro fares till its accounts were audited.
said an audit of the accounts of Delhi
Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was necessary as in the past the private power distribution companies (discoms) used to hike electricity charges by allegedly showing fake losses.
wants a hike in the fares as it has a "huge loan liability" and a rapidly rising operating ratio, which means its expenditure as against every rupee earned is going up.
This contention of DMRC
has been termed as "flawed" by the Delhi
CM who said that the metro needs to increase its efficiency.
He said that there is an immediate need to maintain a balance between the operational needs of the metro and the interests of the commuters.
Kejriwal, in a statement issued by the Delhi
government, also said that the income and expenditure details of the DMRC
should be put in the public domain.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also opposed the fare hike, saying that the spirit of metro is not to profit but to provide a safe and reliable transport system.
Reacting to Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri's comment that the Centre won't let the metro become another Delhi
Transport Corporation (DTC), Sisodia said that the DTC may be suffering losses, but it was at least serving the people.
Sisodia said that if metro ridership was coming down, as per RTI data, then its entire purpose to bring down use of private vehicles is lost.
He said that the DMRC
should go for property development, food courts and advertisements to generate revenue and not just passenger fares.
He and Kejriwal
have suggested that the hike, proposed to come into effect from October 10, be put on hold for another three-four months, till the proposal is examined by the Central and Delhi
If the hike is effected, the fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10.
The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms -- Rs 10, 2-5 kms -- Rs 15, 5-12 kms -- Rs 20, 12-21 kms -- Rs 30, 21-32 kms -- 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 Rs 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs 60.
BJP President Manoj Tiwari and Leader of the Opposition in Assembly Vijender Gupta, in a statement, accused the Kejriwal
government of evading its responsibility on the issue of metro fare hike and trying to mislead the people by playing "dirty politics".
The BJP leaders said that the Delhi
government has a 50 per cent stake in DMRC
and there can be no fare hike without its consent.
However, the Kejriwal
government, in its statement, has taken the stand that it had opposed any hike in fares in the Fare Fixation Committee meeting held in September last year.
CM has said that the committee ought not to have overlooked the Delhi
government's objections to the hike in metro fares.
He said that if the committee was going to ignore the views of the Delhi
government, then it would not in future nominate a representative to the panel.
Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot, meanwhile, has said in a statement that the Delhi
Chief Secretary and transport commissioner were not present in the DMRC
board meeting of May 8 when the decision to hike fares was taken.