The topic has become a bone of contention between the Delhi government and the DMRC which runs the vast metro network in the national capital, proving as a lifeline to millions of commuters.
This principle is being completely overlooked in the fare hikes being planned for 2017, which put together will exceed 80% in one year alone.
"It is only since 2015 that there have been no power tarrif hike in Delhi", Kejriwal said, adding that there is an immediate need to maintain a balance between the operational needs of the metro and the interests of the commuters.
Delhi BJP president has said that the Kejriwal government has no concern for the people and has made no effort in improving the public transport infrastructure in the city, which includes Delhi Metro, DTC, feeder buses, autos, cabs, and rickshaws. This recommendation is being completely violated because the proposed second hike in October 2017 will take place before even six months are over after implementation of the previous fare hike.
The committee, comprising representatives of both the state and the Centre, which have equal stakes in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is entrusted with recommending fare hikes.
"The long gap of over eight years in the formation of FFC has resulted in the fare hike in percentages, which if seen on yearly basis, is in the reasonable range of 7-8 % per annum taking into account the two phase of the fare Hike (Phase-I: May 2017, Phase-II; October 2017)", the letter read. "On the contrary, the Delhi Metro needs to increase its efficiency", said Mr. Kejriwal. He added that if Metro ridership was coming down, as per RTI data, then its entire goal of bringing down use of private vehicles is lost.
With the consent of the Kejriwal government, the chief secretary and the others, who were present in the meeting, approved the Metro fair hike and did not file any dissent over the raise. He said the DMRC should go for property development, food courts and advertisements to generate revenue and not just passenger fares. The fare is revised every year and therefore the increase in the fare is 3 - 5 per cent per year. "A comparison of metro fares of many Metros in India shows that the DMRC's maximum fare level is either less or comparable with other metros which are operating In India inspite of a higher per capita income in Delhi", the letter stated. "In MTR Hong Kong metro Fare Revision is periodic (Annual). Despite operating efficiently, the DMRC is making a net loss of Rs 378 crore in view of the above factors", the corporation said.