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Metro fare hike: Will pay half of funds if Centre pays 50%, says Kejriwal

In his letter to minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal also informed the Centre of his government's readiness to take over DMRC if it wants

BS Web Team & IANS  |  New Delhi 

DMRC, Delhi metro, metro

Chief Minister on Sunday said his was ready to pay half the grants-in-aid for the next five years to Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to avoid a fare hike, provided the central is ready to pay the other half.

"As for as your suggestion regarding a grant to DMRC for meeting the gap in their operating finances, my is willing to bear half the grant if only a matching grant is provided by the Central Government," Kejriwal said in his letter to Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Kejriwal's letter, dated October 8, further said: "As you know, the central and are 50-50 owners of DMRC and its equity etc, have been shared in this proportion all along. 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.

"Since the central bears 100 per cent of loss for Kolkata Metro, I see no difficulty if it bears 50 per cent in case of Thereafter, an FFC (Fare Fixation Committee) can be constituted, as suggested by you."

Kejriwal, through his letter, also informed the central to his government's readiness to take over DMRC if it wants.

"If the central agrees, would be willing to take over DMRC. We are confident that we will be able to fund DMRC by improving the efficiency rather than effecting steep fare hikes and provide an affordable means of transport to the people of Read Also: Don't want Delhi Metro fare hike? Pay Rs 3,000 cr a yr: Centre to Kejriwal

"However, till that happens, let the spirit of partnership prevail and I do hope that you will find a mutually acceptable solution to the present impasse relating to the second fare hike which we clearly regard as anti-people," he wrote.

Kejriwal's reaction came in response to Puri's suggestion to him to give over Rs 3,000 crore annually to Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) if he wants to hold the proposed

Puri had said to Kejriwal through his letter dated October 6 that the Metro Act did not allow the central to put on hold the fare hike. He also noted that the alternative to fare hike was to provide DMRC yearly grants-in-aid for the next five years: Rs 3,040 crore, Rs 3,616 crore, Rs 3,318 crore, Rs 3,150 crore and Rs 2,980 crore respectively.

Puri was responding to a letter from Kejriwal on September 29 asking the central to put the hike on hold.

The AAP has opposed the fare hike proposed from October 10. It has locked horns with the Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) over the impending second hike this year, following the recommendation of the fourth FFC.

The DMRC defended its decision by saying its input costs had gone up over the years and the increase was at par with Metro rails in other cities.

The assembly will meet on Monday to discuss the proposed hike.

govt-DMRC tussle: The story so far 1) Metro's fourth Fare-fixation committee had proposed a phased increase in Metro fares.

The Metro fares were revised in May when the minimum tariff was raised from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum fare from Rs 30 to Rs 50. Passengers carrying a smart card and travelling during the off-peak hours — between 6 am - 8 am, 12 pm - 5 pm and 9 pm onwards — were given a discount of 20%. On Sundays and holidays (26 January, 15 August and 2 October), the discount was of around Rs10 across slabs. Read more 2) The second phase of the was likely to be introduced from October 10. The hike was supposed to be steep this time, going up by a maximum of Rs 10. Read more 3) Chief Minister described the proposed as "anti-people" and said that he has asked his Transport Minister to find a way to stop it. Read more 4) Government's Transport Minister told the Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) to hold the impending fare hike till it completes an enquiry on the proposed increase. Read more 5) Chief Minister writes to the Centre, demands withdrawal of the proposed proposed fare hike. Read more 6) Amid a stiff opposition from the over the proposed fare increase, the Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) clarifies that the "hike is necessary" to meet input costs and to keep providing a world-class service. Read more 7) AAP writes to DMRC's Managing Director Mangu Singh over the unjustified decision by the DMRC to hike the passenger fares for the second time within five months this year. Read more 8) The Centre informs the that the Metro Act does not allow it to put on hold the hike in Metro fares. Centre asks Krjriwal to provide Rs 3,000 crore every year to DMRC to cancel the Read more

First Published: Mon, October 09 2017. 09:43 IST