ibusinesslines.com February 21, 2018

Govt has no power to sack Metro chief, say officials

09 October 2017, 12:47 | Melissa Porter

Delhi Metro fare hike: Transport minister warns DMRC of action

Delhi Metro fare hike: Kejriwal asks chief secretary to call DMRC board's emergency meeting

The second proposed Metro fare hike has become a bone of contention between the Delhi Government and the Central Government as Kejriwal has termed it "anti-people".

Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri informed Kejriwal that the Metro Act does not have provisions for the central government to put on hold a fare hike and if the Delhi CM wishes to put a hold on fare hike, his state government can give around Rs 3,000 crore annually to the DMRC to do so.

In order to compensate the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the losses to be incurred due to non-revision of the fares, the state government should agree to deposit an annual sum of Rs 3,000 crores for the next five years, the Union Minister was reported as saying.

He also mentioned that since the Centre bears 100 per cent of loss for Kolkata Metro, he sees no difficulty if it bears 50 per cent in case of Delhi and thereafter, another FFC can be constituted.

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 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.

Set up by the Central government a year ago 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. As you know, the Central Government and the Delhi Government are 50:50 owners of the DMRC and its equity has been shared in this proportion all along.

The letter from Hardeep Singh Puri, noted that the only alternative that the puts October Metro fare hike on hold is that DMRC is provided with yearly grants-in-aid for the next five years: Rs. 3,040 crore, Rs. 3,616 crore, Rs. 3,318 crore, Rs. 3,150 crore and Rs. 2,980 crore respectively. "However, till that happens, let the spirit of partnership prevail and I do hope that you will and a mutually acceptable solution to the present impasse relating to the second fare hike which we clearly regard as anti-people", the letter said. The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms - Rs 10, 2-5 kms - Rs 15, 5-12 kms - Rs 20, 12-21 kms - Rs 30, 21-32 kms - Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms - Rs 50.

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