Delhi Metro network spans 250km; Kejriwal, Union minister Puri launch Pink Line
The Delhi Metro Pink Line comes as a boon for residents of west and north Delhi as it will provide access to the airport and reduce travel time by half.Updated: Mar 14, 2018 23:08 IST
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Union minister for housing and urban affairs (independent charge) Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday jointly launched a stretch of the Pink Line of Delhi Metro — the 21.56 km-long Majlis Park–Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus corridor.
Agreeing that Metro fares should not be hiked next year, both Puri and Kejriwal promised to resolve the pending issue of clearing Delhi Metro’s phase IV and the Delhi-Meerut high-speed rail corridor.
The line comes as a boon for residents of west and north Delhi as it will provide access to the airport and reduce travel time by half. With the launch of the 21.56 km corridor, the Delhi Metro network also crossed the 250km mark.
Part of the 59-km Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor (Pink Line – Line 7) of Delhi Metro’s Phase 3, the new section has 12 stations, including four interchange ones: Azadpur, Netaji Subhash Place, Rajouri Garden and South campus.
“I believe the Metro fare is on the higher side. I believe that if we sit together and do some brainstorming, the fare can be reduced. I don’t want to blame anyone for this but we have not increased power tariff for three years and my minister has told me we will not increase it in the coming years also. I am confident we can work something out and the fare fixation committee (FFC), which increased the fare, will reduce it the next time and set an example,” Kejriwal said.
Puri agreed with Kejriwal and said the fares should not be increased next year.
“I have told DMRC to explore other sources of revenue. Delhi Metro is world class and we have to make sure to maintain this world-class asset. It is for this reason that a decision was taken that the pricing of Metro should not be decided by the state or central government,” Puri said.
Puri said that ideally, the metro should be affordable for everyone.
“I don’t have the power to influence this decision; it is the FFC that decides. The reason behind the 2017 hike was that fare had not been increased in the past nine years. Even if I wanted, I could not have deferred it. But we will recommend to the next FFC that affordability of the common man should be kept in mind. I have requested DMRC to explore discounts for senior citizens and students,” Puri said.
Kejriwal promised to clear projects pending with them soon.
“Two proposals are pending with us. One is to increase the capacity on the existing network for which DMRC needs extra rolling stock. The Delhi government has no objection and it will be cleared soon. The second proposal is about phase IV. There are six routes in phase IV and some of them are not financially viable,” the CM said.
“Though I admit that financial viability should not be the only criteria for public transport, but the question is will we get traffic on these routes? Also, if we clear the phase IV proposal, what will be the impact on the overall fare structure? We are doing that calculation and will sort out everything. If required, we can clear the project in two parts — the viable routes first and non viable ones at a later stage,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal requested the central government to share the losses of Delhi Metro since they are equal stakeholders in the corporation.
“I was happy to hear that the Delhi government is clearing the pending projects,” Puri said. He said that the Pink Line will help Delhi Metro breach the 250-kilometre mark.
First Published: Mar 14, 2018 23:07 IST