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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

No Metro fare hike for now, panel needs time

Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 18, 2013
First Published: 00:18 IST(18/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:20 IST(18/1/2013)

The much-expected fare hike in Delhi Metro will not happen at least for five more months. The recently formed fare fixation committee of the ministry of urban development will take at least four to five months to submit its recommendations.

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"We are expecting that the fare fixation committee will get back with its recommendations within four to five months. Immediately after its recommendation comes, we will revise the metro fares," said Delhi Metro chief Mangu Singh. Delhi Metro fares were last revised in 2009 and since then there has been no hike.

This means that the Delhi Metro will have to bear the manifold rise in its operation expenses for a few more months. The fare hike, which was planned in June last year, may come into effect around May or June this year.  According to officials, the existing system of revising the fare is taking longer, which is leading to the delay in increasing fares for the metro.

After the Delhi Metro had placed its demand for fare revision, it took months to form the fare fixation committee under the union urban development ministry. The committee was formed only a few weeks ago.

HT first wrote about Delhi Metro's plan to revise fares (Power punch: Metro to hike fares, June 28, 2012).

"We need to revise the fares so that we do not have to compromise on our service. Our overall expenditure on operating trains has gone up by at least 10%," said an official of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

One of the prime reasons that prompted the Delhi Metro to go in for a fare revision was a steep increase in its operating expenses because of power consumption.  Before the hike in power tariff, which took place in June last year, DMRC spent 30 per cent of its operating expenses on power consumption. According to sources, it spent R3.80 on each unit of power. With the new hike, the expenditure rose to Rs. 5.

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