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Your free Metro ride isn't confirmed

The promised facility of free Metro rides on the tickets of Opening and Closing ceremonies has run into trouble. Avishek G Dastidar reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2010 00:16 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The promised facility of free Metro rides on the tickets of Opening and Closing ceremonies has run into trouble.

The organiser of the Commonwealth Games hasn't yet figured out who is going to pay for the free metro rides that it is promising to ticket-holders.

Over 20,000 tickets for the Opening ceremony have already been sold promising free rides on the Metro and the DTC buses. The Opening ceremony alone is estimated to sell 45,000 tickets, and the figure would be doubled after adding the Closing ceremony.

But neither the Organising Committee (OC) nor the Delhi Metro knows who's going to pick up the tab for the revenue loss, which stands to run in crores.

The OC received a formal query from Delhi Metro earlier this month seeking an explanation on the payment issue but it has not yet replied as, sources said, there is no clarity on the matter. The Metro's estimated revenue loss thanks to the free rides is around Rs 6 crore.

The letter also seeks to know who is going to pay them for the free rides the 22,000-odd volunteers can avail of — a promise the OC has made to the volunteers.

In the middle of this deadlock, the formal, printed tickets are now slated to be launched on Wednesday.

"All I can say is that free rides can be enjoyed on each ticket," said Lalit Bhanot, OC secretary-general.

The Delhi government, which has promised to compensate the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for its loss on account of free rides to spectators and volunteers, has refused to foot the Metro's bill.

"We cannot pay Delhi Metro," said Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta. The DTC expects a loss of around Rs 16 crore.

"Around 65% of the 17 lakh ticket holders are expected to travel on our buses. For each ticket we estimate a loss of Rs 40," said Naresh Kumar, chairman and managing director, DTC.