Centre and Delhi government lock horns about proposed Metro fare hike

The hike is proposed to be implemented on October 10

The hike is proposed to be implemented on October 10

The last revision of fares were undertaken in 2009.

The decision of the board, headed by housing and urban affairs secretary DS Mishra, came close on the heels of the Delhi assembly passing a resolution against the proposed fare hike earlier in the day.

In a statement, the Delhi government said that another fare hike, within five months of the previous one, will act as a burden on commuters and bring down ridership. Operational losses are the sole responsibility of state governments.

Face-off between the Delhi government and the Centre on the issue of Delhi metro fair hike continued as the minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri sent a detailed response to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on the suggestions made by him in his letter. "Tampering with the recommendations of the FFC is legally untenable".

The new DMRC fares will be effective from October 10.

"The central and state governments are not meant to run metros in case of 50:50 joint venture metro projects like DMRC".

"If the Central government agrees, Delhi government would be willing to take over the DMRC", he said.

Deepening the contention between the Centre and the Delhi Government, Kejriwal also suggested that his government is willing to take over DMRC and it would be able to fund the metro by improving its efficiency.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also warned of protests if the DMRC remains adamant on increasing fares. The existing fare structure is: up to 2 km - Rs 10, 2-5 km - Rs 15, 5-12 km - Rs 20, 12-21 km - Rs 30, 21-32 km - Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms - Rs 50.

Intervening in the debate, Gupta sought to know why the Delhi government, which has been opposing the fare hike, was not reducing value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, which will lead to a further fall in fuel prices in the city. This, incidentally, is the second instance of a fare hike this year. The minimum fare will be Rs 10 and the maximum would be Rs 60. However, since 2009, there has been no increase in fare, whereas the input cost for the DMRC has increased by over 105 per cent in energy, 139 per cent in staff cost and by 213 per cent for fix and maintenance.