New Delhi: The hike in Delhi Metro fares, which came into effect from Tuesday, has triggered a war of words between the Centre and the AAP-led Delhi government with the latter alleging that it's a 'conspiracy' to benefit private cab operators like Ola and Uber.
“The (Delhi) Metro is being run by the money of people who don’t want fares to be increased. Conspiracy is being hatched so that Ola and Uber companies will be benefited. This is being deliberately done so that the fares of Metro are more than that of taxis of private companies,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said during a discussion on the resolution against Delhi Metro fare hike on Monday.
The Delhi Assembly had yesterday passed a unanimous resolution, moved by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, with a voice vote in the House.
Without naming the Centre, Sisodia said that there was an attempt to make the Delhi Metro “premium public transport”, but the AAP government would not allow it.
The Deputy Chief Minister, during a discussion on the resolution, argued that if the metro fares were expensive, people would shift to cabs, resulting in an increase in the pollution levels in Delhi.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had offered to take over the metro if the Centres agrees.
He claimed that if the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had used its property efficiently, there would not have been any need for increasing the fares for the second time.
Today's fare hike has received mixed response from thousands of DMRC commuters.
This is the second fare hike this year as proposed by the Fare Fixation Committee which was formed last year. The increased charges were to be applied in two phases - the first hike was already done in May this year.
Barring the minimum fare of Rs 10 for the distance of 0-2 km - which will remain the same, commuters will have to pay Rs 5-10 extra for distance travelled further as per kilometer scheme set by the transporter.
While commuters pay Rs 15 for the distance travelled between 2-5 km, now they will have to pay Rs 20. The maximum fare has been increased to Rs 60 as compared to current Rs 50.
Smart card users will continue to get 10 percent discount, so would those who happen to use metro during non-peak hours - between start of the metro service till 8 am, between 12 pm and 5 pm, and from 9 pm till the close of service.
With PTI inputs