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Kejriwal directs DDC to examine justification of Metro fare hike

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

A day after the metro fare hike, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) to examine whether it was a “justified” move or could have been avoided.

In a letter to chief secretary MM Kutty, Kejriwal directed him to get necessary order issues in this regard. “The steep hike in metro fares has caused considerable distress to the people of Delhi. This hike could not have come at a worse time. The economy is in recession, medium and small scale businesses are facing losses and unemployment is soaring high,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said being an equal partner in the DMRC, the Delhi government is deeply concerned with the metro fare hike and its impact on the common people.

The Chief Minister said that DDC should examine whether the hike was justified or could have been avoided.

Similarly, the DDC should inspect, is Delhi Metro operating at optimum capacity and efficient manner. Are there areas of inefficiency in its operation? Could the hike have been substantially offset by efficiency improvements as well as real estate exploitation, Kejriwal said.

The fare hike, second time hike in the span of six months, came into effect on 10 October increased ticket prices to Rs 10 for all travels beyond 5 km. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and DMRC have been at loggerheads over the proposed Metro fare hike. On 29 September, Kejriwal had requested the Central government to put the metro fare hike on hold till the issue will be solved amicably.

Kejriwal said the DDC should also examine whether the representatives of the Delhi government effectively present its view point in the committee and board along with other matters.

Kejriwal said that some of these issues were flagged by the 4th Fare Fixation Committee constituted by the Central Government.

“DDC may, therefore,” Kejriwal added, “be directed to examine the issue and submit its recommendations at the earliest.”