DMRC says Delhi Metro fares will be lowest in India despite another hike this year
Despite a second fare hike to be rolled out on October 10, fares of Delhi Metro would still continue to be one of the lowest among Metros in all Indian cities.
From May 10 this year, passengers are paying a minimum of Rs 10 instead of Rs 8 and a maximum of Rs 50 instead of Rs 30. These fares are further going to rise by Rs 5-10 from October 10.
However, data with the DMRC suggests that even after the second hike, fares of Delhi metro will remain lower or equal to Metros in cities like Chennai, Kochi, Lucknow and Mumbai.
Metro fares hadn’t changed for eight years until a fare revision was finally approved this year. As a result, DMRC’s money earned from Metro operations reduced from 52% in 2011 to around 25% in 2016-17.
“DMRC has a huge loan liability. As on March 31, 2017, DMRC has taken a loan of Rs 26,760.28 crore from JICA and have re-paid only Rs 3770.79 crore (interest of Rs 2263.67 crore) and repayment of principal Rs 1507.12 crore till March 31,” a report of the corporation stated.
It further states that for every rupee received from metro operations, the surplus available to DMRC is Rs 0.26 during the years 2016-17, out of which DMRC spent Rs 0.27 towards servicing the debt of JICA loan.
“Thus, no funds are left to meet the cost of replacement of assets. The net loss before tax for year 2016-17 comes to Rs 378.29 crore,” the report added.
According to metro officials, the operating ratio of DMRC increased to 74% in 2016-17 from 48% in 2011. This means if DMRC earned Rs 100 in 2011, it spend R 48 in maintenance of infrastructure. In 2016-17, the same figure is Rs 74 for every Rs 100. “The lower the operation ratio the better, but we are not able to achieve that,” a metro official said.
“The necessity of revision in fares was on account of increase in the cost of inputs — the staff costs, the cost of energy and the cost of repair and maintenance. Since constitution of the 3rd fare fixation committee, there has been increase in the rate of industrial dearness allowance (DA) by 95.5% (from 16.90% to 112.40%), rate of Central DA by 103% (from 22% to 125%) and average increase in the rate of minimum wages by 156.2%. The last fare revision took place in 2009 and the 4th committee was set up after almost 7 years,” said a DMRC spokesperson.