AAP threatens to launch protests over increase in Delhi Metro fares
The Delhi Metro’s minimum fare was hiked from Rs 8 to Rs 10, and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50, in May this year.delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2017 23:29 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to agitate against Delhi Metro authorities if they go ahead with a plan to hike commuter fares in the national capital.
Gopal Rai, the Delhi unit convenor of AAP, on Friday said the party was univocally opposed to hikes in public transport fare. “We will launch a protest campaign if the DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) remains adamant on its plan to increase Metro fares. A delegation of party MLAs will meet the DMRC chief on Monday, and ask him to reconsider the decision,” he told reporters at a press conference.
Rai also expressed surprise at the manner in which the DMRC decided to increase commuter fares twice in 2017, after refraining from taking any such step in the last eight years.
The Delhi Metro’s minimum fare was hiked from Rs 8 to Rs 10, and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50, in May this year. If the fares are increased on October 10, the maximum figure will go up from Rs 50 to Rs 60.
“The DMRC’s move to increase the fare will force the people to opt for alternative modes of transport, which will aggravate pollution and congestion. The decision to hike fares should be reviewed,” said Rai.
The AAP convenor said the Metro has been playing a major role in providing Delhi residents with a means of easy and safe transport.
Rai claimed that the hike in commuter fares earlier this year only served to reduce footfalls at Metro stations. “The Metro ridership in June 2016 was over 27 lakh. This came down to 25 lakh, a reduction of two lakh riders, after the DMRC increased fares in May,” the AAP leader said, expressing the hope that the railway body would come up with an alternative but “more practical” way to address its financial concerns.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday termed the plan to increase Metro fares from next month as “anti-people”, and asked transport minister Kailash Gahlot to identify ways to prevent it. Following this, Gahlot held a meeting with DMRC chief Mangu Singh and asked him to hold back the fare hike until “the government completes its inquiry into the matter”.
Singh, however, said there was no change in the DMRC’s plan to hike fares.