Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal writes to Centre, asks for roll back of Metro fare hike
Arvind Kejriwal reiterated that his government will bear half the losses arising out of the “proposed roll-back”delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2017 11:45 IST
Expressing concern over declining ridership of Delhi Metro after the fare hike in October, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday urged the Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri to “claw back” the fares to its September level.
Kejriwal also reiterated that his government will bear half the losses arising out of the “proposed roll-back”.
To meet its increasing operating costs, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) hiked fares twice this year in May and October, almost doubling the price of tickets. The latest fare hike, led to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100%.
Delhi Metro lost an estimated three lakh passengers daily in October compared to the same period last year, indicating a severe impact of a second fare hike in six months on the public transport system.
In a letter to Puri, Kejriwal said that there had been a decline of about 10.5% in the number of passenger trips undertaken during November 2017 as compared to November 2016.
“The past data as well as the claims made by the DMRC indicate that passenger trips grow by about 8.5-9% every year. Even if we assume a conservative growth of 8% per annum, it would be evident that not only was this 8% growth missed but there was also a decline of 10.5% implying a total loss of 18.5% in passenger trips,” Kejriwal said in the letter.
He further said that it implies that there was a “shift of 15.3 lakh passenger trips” from Delhi Metro in November 2017 alone suggesting that these trips were undertaken by other less environment friendly modes. For a full year, these trips would be nearly two crores.
“In view of the sharp decline in ridership after the recent tariff hike, it seems necessary in public interest to review this hike and claw back the fares to their September level. Even then the commuters would 50% more than the tariffs payable in May 2017 but anything above that would be injurious to the commuters as well as to the public interest,” he said.
Kejriwal added that the shifting of passengers from Metro to other modes would add significantly to air pollution at a time when the air quality was “suffering from a severe stress”.
The Delhi Metro is used by more than 30 lakh people every day in the national capital region that includes parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.