Delhi chief secretary MM Kutty under fire for ‘refusing’ to probe fare hike
On Wednesday, Kejriwal had asked Kutty to direct the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) of Delhi to examine issues related to the fare hike and assess whether it could have been avoided.delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2017 23:27 IST
Dlehi chief secretary MM Kutty is now in the Aam Aadmi Party government’s line of fire for allegedly refusing to order an inquiry on the Delhi metro fare hike.
The government on Friday alleged that Kutty was trying to “sabotage” its stand against the controversial fare revision as he supposedly told chief minister Arvind Kejriwal that initiating an inquiry on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was “not feasible.”
On Wednesday, Kejriwal had asked Kutty to direct the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) of Delhi to examine issues related to the fare hike and assess whether it could have been avoided.
In his response, Kutty referred to a letter sent to him by the ministry of housing and urban affairs and noted that such an investigation would not be possible as the DMRC was neither a central nor state public sector undertaking.
Irked by the response, Kejriwal asked Kutty to meet him. But he allegedly stood by his stand, making the top official the newest entrant to the list of bureaucrats blamed for “dereliction of duty” by the Delhi government.
Repeated calls and text messages to Kutty went unanswered.
“The denial of the chief secretary to order the inquiry even after being asked by the chief minister makes it clear that the CS has the backing of the BJP-led Centre and is sabotaging the Delhi government’s efforts to send relief to the people of Delhi by getting the fare hike inquired,” said Arunoday Prakash, media advisor to the chief minister.
He said the government will now “look into the options for dealing with such dereliction and sabotage by the bureaucrats towards the pro-people moves of the government.”
Centre’s letter to the CS
Turns out, the reason behind the rift is a letter sent by the ministry of housing and urban affairs to Kutty on Thursday – just a day after Kejriwal asked for the inquiry.
The letter sent by Mukund Kumar Sinha, ex-officio joint secretary of the ministry, asked Kutty “not to issue any order for enquiry into the fare hike or various other matters” on the grounds that neither the DDC nor the Delhi government had the competence to do so.
“I would like to mention that the DMRC is not a state public sector undertaking (SPSU… It is a board-run government company. Therefore, state government has no authority to make an enquiry into DMRC affairs,” read the letter, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times.
Writing the letter on the basis of “newspaper reports” that appeared on Thursday, Sinha further reasoned that such an inquiry was not possible either by the state or the central as recommendations of the fare fixation committee is binding on the metro rail administration.