Postponing fare hike, handing over DMRC to Delhi government against rules: Centre

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Fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10 after the latest hike comes into effect.

Kejriwal also said that Union Housing and Urban Affair minister's contention that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was bound to follow the Fare Fixation Committee's recommendations which seems not possible in anyway.

The letter said that if Delhi government is keen to prove its abilities, it can take over Delhi metro phase IV for doing so under the new metro policy recently announced by centre; but need to keep DTC in mind; delay in phase IV deprived about 40 lakh people of the benefit of metro services.

He also said that as per existing guidelines, the operational losses are the sole responsibility of state governments and hence there is no question of Centre sharing the grants-in-aid to DMRC required to stop the fare hike.

He said that as per Section 37 of the Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, recommendations of the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) are "binding and sacrosanct and the central government cannot interfere in the matter of metro fares". Metro fares are set to increase by anywhere between Rs 5 and Rs 10 for those travelling over two kilometres from Tuesday. "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.

Besides cooperative federalism, the point remains that the Centre and Delhi government are equal partners in the DMRC, Kejriwal said.

Goel said he will ensure that Value-Added Tax is reduced provided the Centre manages to withhold the proposed fare hike of metro. However, Centre should provide the other half of the funds.

Though DMRC is not entitled to discuss and change FFC recommendations, Puri suggested to DS Mishra, Secretary and Chairman of DMRC board to consider convening a meeting of the Board on the insistence of CM. This, incidentally, is the second instance of a fare hike this year.

Singh is AAP's nominee on the DMRC Board.

The Metro fares were last revised in May when the minimum tariff was raised from Rs 8 to Rs 10.

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