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Kejriwal seeks audit of DMRC, stay on proposed fare hike till report

SNS | New Delhi |

Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday demanded an independent audit of the Delhi Metro’s accounts after state government wrote to Urban Affairs Ministry against the proposed fare hike.

Kejriwal also asked for a stay on the proposed fare hike till the audit report is received.

According to a statement by Delhi government, Kejirwal said that there is a need for an independent audit of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) accounts, as cases of alleged faking of losses by the power distribution companies have been reported earlier.

“If the commuters would not be able to use the Metro because of high fares, what would be the utility of running the Metro,” he asked.

The Delhi government had opposed the hike proposed in September last year, said Kejriwal, and decried the “manner in which the views of the elected government were ignored” by Fare Fixation Committee (FFC), which decided the hike.

Set up by the Central government last year to see the case for and recommend a price hike, the three-member FFC, comprising a nominee each from the Central and the Delhi governments and a retired judge of Delhi High Court, had approved a two-phase hike in May. While one hike has already been done, the other was scheduled to be implemented from 10 October.

According to the statement, Kejriwal said that the DMRC’s rationale for the hike – to cover operational costs and repay loans – was “highly flawed” and advised it to be efficient instead.

Delhi CM also urged the DMRC to follow the financial model of the Hong Kong Metro and has advised the corporation to raise funds through properties allotted to it by the government. The model if implemented efficiently and transparently, the process would significantly improve DMRC’s finances and lead to a much lower fare hike.