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Delhi HC seeks govt, DMRC response on plea against Metro fare hike

In his plea, Congress leader Ajay Maken had highlighted how the ridership of the Metro had decreased due to the steep rise in fares.

delhi Updated: Sep 07, 2018 03:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi high court,Ajay Maken,DMRC
A report by the Centre for Science and Environment claimed that Delhi Metro has become the second-costliest Metro service in the world. (Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo)

The Delhi high court on Thursday sought the responses of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on a plea — filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken — resisting hike in Metro fares.

The bench comprising Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao were hearing an application — seeking subsidy in the skyrocketing fares of the DMRC — filed by Maken in a pending petition by disability activist Nipun Malhotra, who had challenged the Delhi government’s decision to procure standard floor buses for the city by saying that it was in violation of a Supreme Court order.

In his plea, filed through advocate Aman Panwar, Maken had highlighted how the ridership of the Metro had decreased due to the steep rise in fares. Appearing for Maken, senior advocate Vikas Singh and advocate Pawar highlighted the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) report and informed the court that due to the fare hike in October 2017, the Delhi Metro has become the second costliest Metro service in the world and has, hence, defeated the purpose of its creation.

The plea also contended that after the hike in fares, Metro ridership has decreased and is, in fact, losing three lakh passengers per day. Moreover, the plea also stated that the DMRC is, as a result, earning only Rs 755.92 crore as an additional amount per year.

The application claimed that although Kejriwal had offered to subsidise Metro fares through public statements, nothing has been done in this regard.

The plea said that if Delhi government subsidises the amount, it would make Metro more affordable and, in turn, reduce road traffic as well as the air pollution levels. It sought directions to release subsidy of Rs 755.92 crore to restore Metro ridership.

On the issue of procuring of low floor buses, the Delhi government informed the court that they have been allowed to get 500 buses and they can be further allowed by the HC to get the rest of the buses.

However, the court did not pass any such orders and asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit indicating how the standard floor buses and the bus stands be made disabled-friendly.

The matter will be heard next on September 28.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 03:20 IST