New Delhi: With AAP coming to power in Delhi, speculation is rife that the new government may not be in favour of a hike in Metro fares. DMRC has been asking for an upward revision in fares citing increasing costs. The Metro fares have not been revised since 2009.
Earlier this month, the urban development ministry sent a proposal to the appointments committee of the cabinet to set up a fare fixation panel, which will submit its report within three months of getting approved. The panel consists of three members, including the urban development secretary from the Centre, the finance secretary from the Delhi government and a retired judge.
Said a senior government official, “Fare fixation has been pending for a long time now. However, since elections were due in Delhi, no movement had happened on the issue. With the new government in place, a decision should be taken soon.”
Insiders, however, are apprehensive that the AAP government may not be keen on revising Metro fares immediately. “Amid the talk of subsidies, speculation is rife that the government may not be in favour of an increase in Delhi Metro fares, which is seen as the commute of the common man,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
The fare fixation panel decides on the formula for fare revision. The last revision of fares took place five years ago. Delhi Metro can revise its fares only on the recommendation of a three-member committee constituted by the Centre from time to time. Added the source, “Once the government approves, the committee will be notified with their terms of reference for fare fixation.”
According to officials at the Centre, Justice (retired) A K Srivastava has been chosen as the chairman of the committee. “Fare hike is long overdue. Now when the committee will be formed and when it will give its recommendations is not in my hand,” DMRC CMD Mangu Singh had said earlier.
According to Delhi Metro officials, almost 40 percent of Delhi Metro’s overall expenses go towards paying electricity bills with the power consumption rising to around 63 crore units amounting to almost Rs 450 crore in 2014-15.