Delhi Metro has suffered a loss of Rs. 6 crore in the past four years on account of lost travel tokens, Union minister of state for urban development Deepa Dasmunsi told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Though the amount is not huge in comparison to the 10-year-old Delhi Metro’s revenues, serious efforts would be made to prevent it, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said. Delhi Metro generates a revenue of Rs. 4-5 crore in a day from its current operations.
“Any loss is big for us,” said DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal. “The quantum of loss could be much bigger had we continued with the tokens procured from Japan. Initially, we issued tokens that cost Rs. 90 per piece. To reduce losses, we have introduced new tokens which are worth Rs. 20 a piece. These are manufactured in India,” he said.
Within a few years of its operation, DMRC had stopped issuing tokens for a two-way journey, resulting in further drop in token loss, he said.
“When Delhi Metro came in existence a decade ago, many people used to take their tokens along to keep them home as souvenirs. To prevent this, we had introduced souvenir tokens, which are still in good demand,” Dayal added.
According to a senior Delhi Metro official, taking tokens home without depositing them at the designated counter is a global trend and is considered to be typical passenger behaviour.
In Delhi, the problem has been sorted out to a large extent through popularisation of smart cards. “When Delhi Metro became operational 10 years ago, there were hardly 10 per cent smart card users, which has now gone up to 70 per cent,” Dayal said.
Delhi Metro recently did an analysis to ascertain the number of tokens that remain unaccounted for and the points of leakages.
“Accordingly, we have increased and improved surveillance at certain stations, which is yielding results,” Dayal said.
Sources said the DMRC’s technical staff has also been trying reduce the token reading timing at entry/exit AFC gates in a bid to prevent tailgating.
DMRC had registered a loss of Rs. 1.2 crore in 2009-10, which grew to Rs. 1.6 crore in 2010-11 and it further went up to Rs. 1.8 crore from April 2011 to March 2012. From April 2012 to September 2012, the loss is Rs. 95 lakh.