Pay Rs 3000 crore to avoid metro fare hike: Centre to Kejriwal

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In his letter, Puri wrote, "In case the state government agrees to provide grants-in-aid of almost Rs 3,000 crore per annum to DMRC, then another FFC (Fare Fixation Committee) may be constituted, which may also examine DMRC's financial viability".

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. It has locked horns with the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) over the impending second hike this year, following the recommendation of the fourth Fare Fixation Committee (FFC). The Delhi Metro fare hike is scheduled for Tuesday.

"In case the State Government agrees to provide grants-in-aid of almost Rs 3,000 crore per annum to DMRC, then another FFC may be constituted, which may also examine the financial viability of DMRC", said Puri in the letter accessed by HT.

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Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA), Hardeep Singh Puri has told the Delhi government that it would need to pay Rs 3,000 crore annually for five years to stop this rise in the fare. The Delhi State Government has been asking DMRC to hold the second phase of fare hike - which will come into effect from October 10 while the Central Government is stating that fare hike can not be kept on hold.

The Delhi Metro, which has been operational in the national capital since 2002, carries around 27 lakh passengers every day.

Puri responded to the Delhi Chief Minister after detailed examination of the issues raised and suggestions made by him regarding the fare hike in consultations with the DMRC.

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"The fares are decided by the FFC which has judges from the High Court on its panel as well.The Delhi government can give its observations/recommendations, but these are not binding on the Metro or the Centre in any way".

Delhi Metro also furnished the details of efforts for non-fare revenue mobilisation and said the FFC report factored in such mobilisation of the order of Rs 340 cr to Rs 636 cr per year during 2017-18 to 2021-22, which comes to about 20 percent of the total revenue of the company.

The DMRC defended its decision on hike saying its input costs have gone up over the years, and the increase is at par with Metro rails in other cities.

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The Minister also used the opportunity to hit out at the Delhi government holding it responsible for the 15-month delay in the completion of the Phase III of Delhi metro and Phase IV, which is running two-and-a-half years behind schedule. "I am sure it is not our intention that the DMRC, which offers world class facility should meet similar fate", Puri said adding that DMRC should be allowed to function as an autonomous company in the best interest of the citizens.

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