Delhiites have been spared a Metro fare hike for the next three months.
The Delhi Metro fare fixation committee, set up on June 9, to recommend a revision in passenger fares, was to submit its report on September 8.
But on Wednesday, the three-member committee headed by justice ML Mehta, retired judge of Delhi high court, sought a three month extension from the Union urban development (UD) ministry for completing its report.
“The FCC has been given extension till December 8,” said a senior UD ministry official.
The last time Delhi Metro fares were revised was in 2009 when the minimum fare was increased from `6 to `8 and the maximum fare from `22 to `30.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been requesting a fare increase since 2009 but hasn’t been able to do so as the Centre failed to set up a fare fixation committee.
Since 2009, electricity tariff has gone up by over 90%, accounting for almost 30% of DMRC’s total operating cost.
This is the fourth fare fixation committee that has been set up by the government. The committee had to submit its report on September 8. The committees are temporary in nature and is set up by the Centre only when a Metro rail corporation requests a fare hike.
Barely a month after it was set up, the fare fixation committee, which has Delhi chief secretary KK Sharma and additional secretary in the UD ministry DS Mishra as members, went on a whirlwind trip of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei to study the Metro fare structure there.
The proposal raised the hackles of both UD minister M Venkaiah Naidu and the ministry’s secretary Rajib Gauba who wanted to know the urgency and the purpose the trip would serve. But eventually they relented.
DMRC funded the trip.