GURUGRAM (Metro Rail News): With the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) taking over the operations of the 11.6km long Rapid Metro line, commuters can expect a correction in the ticket prices soon as a fare fixation committee has been constituted for the corridor.
According to sources, Rapid Metro fares might go down by around 50%. Currently, the minimum fare for Delhi metro is Rs 10, the minimum fare for Rapid Metro is Rs 20. The main role of the committee would be to review the existing fares and make changes. Haryana Mass Rapid Transport Corporation Limited (HMRTC) chief D Suresh said, “The fare fixation committee has been already constituted and the committee will decide if there are changes to be made.”
When asked if the high fare was the reason for the downfall of India’s first privately-funded metro line, he said, “I do not think that fares were the major reason behind the low ridership. We have multiple metro projects planned in Gurugram and once we connect the Rapid Metro to those lines, the ridership is likely to increase on its own,” said Suresh, while talking to the media at the formal takeover event of the metro line on Wednesday afternoon.
He was accompanied by DMRC managing director Mangu Singh who said that on Tuesday, DMRC took over the services without further delay so that commuters are not inconvenienced. “The problems facing the metro corridor will be resolved in the coming months,” he added.
DMRC will take a call on increasing the frequency of trains depending on the ridership and demand on the route. While as of now, DMRC will absorb all those employed with Rapid Metro, it will be decided after three months if all of them will be retained or not. Meanwhile, HMRTC and Rapid Metro are yet to decide the amount for the takeover and who gets the property rights. The total amount to be paid by HMRTC will be decided on the basis of a report being prepared by the CAG.
However even after the report is prepared, the two parties can raise objections. “The final terms of the takeover will only be decided through arbitration as also advised by the court,” said Suresh. Sources said HMRTC is also likely to change the name of the service once the new government is formed in the state.
According to reports, resolving a long-standing tussle on who will run the ailing Rapid Metro, DMRC announced that it will take charge from Tuesday evening. This July, Rapid Metro said that it will stop operating the trains by September 9 if the Haryana government fails to infuse funds it requires. Following the notice, the state government signed an agreement with DMRC which took over the operations and maintenance. With the takeover, around Rs, 1,800 crores of the debt of IL&FS will be reduced.