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Delhi Metro fare hike: 'Aam aadmi' feels the heat

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

From college students to officials, commuters have begun to feel the impact of the hike in Metro fare, with some saying they were planning to switch to car-pooling on a long-term basis.

Aroma Bhargava, 19, a University student, is not happy with the increase in fare, which came into effect today.

"My college is in Chanakyapuri. I travel from Moolchand to Race Course, traversing through Violet and Yellow lines. When I heard about the hike, my immediate reaction was like - 'I am now switching to app-based cabs'," she said.

Being a student, Bhargava said, she does not have "much of a budget". "So I will carpool more," she told PTI.

Manaswini, 19, who goes to Gargi College in south Delhi, suggested that the DMRC issue special student travel cards as done by the Transport Corporation (DTC).

The Metro increased fare for travel beyond five kilometres. The new fare structure translates into varied increase for metro traveller es in Delhi-NCR.

The hike is most likely to hit the poor and the lower middle class, especially those commuting daily to from the National Capital Region, such as Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad.

Fifty-year-old Sunil Bhatia, a Gurgaon resident, works at a institution near Patel Chowk Metro Station in Delhi, from where he takes the train on his way back home.

Laboriously moving towards the queue at the entry gate at the metro station, Bhatia said he has travelled on the Metro ever since it extended to the Millennium City.

"The inflation has hit the common man, and now this hike in fare will pinch our pockets further," rued Bhatia.

The Metro Rail Corporation has defended the fare hike, saying it was needed to "maintain a world-class service".

One of the best mass rapid transit systems in the world, the Metro is known for its efficient services and cleanliness.

Balbir Singh, 48, a senior official at a PSU bank on the Parliament Street, does not agree with Metro's defence to hike the fare. He said: "What good is a world-class service if the common man finds it unfordable."

"I have a decent job, so I will somehow manage by cutting my other expenditures. What about the poor, the labourers, the masons, the carpenters and roadside vendors, who come to to earn a livelihood.

"They will now switch to other public transport - like buses. The chartered buses plying from NCR to are likely to raise their fare too. So, for them, it is a double whammy," he said.

Singh, who settled in four years ago, said an "open debate" should have been held to take into account the views of various stakeholders and the general public.

But not everyone is unhappy with the fare hike.

Sudhir Kumar, an auto-rickshaw driver, feels more commuters were likely to take his services in the days to come.

Nisha, who daily takes metro from home to workplace and back, asked, "What is in it (hike) for us? We are paying more so would that mean, more frequent services or more comfort?"

The revised fare structure of the Metro is: travel up to 2 km - Rs 10; 2 to 5 km - Rs 20; 5 to 12 km - Rs 30; 12 to 21 km - Rs 40; 21 to 32 km - Rs 50; and for journeys beyond 32 km - Rs 60 would be charged by the corporation.

Metro smart card users, who account for 70 per cent of its ridership, will continue to get 10 per cent discount on each ride, besides additional discount of 10 per cent while travelling during off-peak hours.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 10 2017. 22:07 IST