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Metro fare hike: AAP to launch protest, assembly to form panel

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday announced it would launch a protest from Wednesday evening at all the metro stations demanding rollback of the fare hike even as the Delhi assembly resolved to constitute a nine-member committee to look into “the rationale” behind DMRC’s move.

delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2017 22:40 IST
AAP MLAs show their Metro smart cards at Delhi Assembly on Tuesday. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday announced it would launch a protest from Wednesday evening at all the metro stations demanding rollback of the fare hike
AAP MLAs show their Metro smart cards at Delhi Assembly on Tuesday. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday announced it would launch a protest from Wednesday evening at all the metro stations demanding rollback of the fare hike(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

HT Correspondent

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday announced it would launch a protest from Wednesday evening at all the metro stations demanding rollback of the fare hike even as the Delhi assembly resolved to constitute a nine-member committee to look into “the rationale” behind DMRC’s move.

Speaking to journalists at the Delhi Assembly, AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai said party leaders would protest at the Union urban development ministry office at Nirman Bhavan on October 13.

The AAP called the protest “Metro Kiraya Satyagraha”.

The ministry and the Delhi government are equal stakeholders in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

The Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution tabled by AAP MLA Somnath Bharti to form a nine-member committee to look into “the rationale and logic behind the hike in tariff” and the “financial health of DMRC”.

Speaker Ram Niwas Goel will nominate members of the committee.

The Delhi Metro fares were increased from Tuesday despite strong opposition from the AAP government.

Rai said the Modi government left them with no option but to hit the streets by increasing the fares. “The increase in metro fares will trouble the common man but will help cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber whose services would now become cheaper than metro. Our demand is rollback of the fare hike,” the AAP leader said.

On Monday, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had termed the fare hike as “conspiracy” to benefit the online cab aggregators.

Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot while replying to a discussion in the House said the decision to go ahead with the fare hike, in DMRC’s “emergency board meeting”, was taken in an “undemocratic manner”.

Gahlot said that in Monday’s board meeting, five directors nominated by the Delhi government strongly placed their views but the hike could not be stopped.

“If the voices of our directors are not even considered, then what is the point of the Delhi government having a 50% stake in DMRC,” Gahlot said.

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said students and working people would be the worst hit.

“This fare hike will not raise metro’s collection but reduce the ridership. It is a conspiracy to increase congestion and trouble the common man.”

Jain said DMRC should focus on real estate development and use its properties to increase its revenue.

AAP legislator from Burari Sanjeev Jha started the discussion and said that AAP was ready to protest and do everything possible to reverse the fare hike.

His colleague Alka Lamba called Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the central government “dictatorial” and said that they would “compel” them to reverse the fare hike.