Taking the cognizance of the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s request against the Delhi Metro fare hike, the Central Government has that it has no jurisdiction to hold the proposed Metro fare hike unless, the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) agrees to pay Rs 3,000 crore annually to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Earlier, the Delhi government had urged DMRC chief, Mangu Singh, to put on hold the October fare hike plans till the government assessed as to how the hikes on fare were being decided.
Commenting on the matter, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (MoS) for Housing and Urban Affairs, informed chief minister Arvind Kejriwal that the Metro Act does not allow the Central government to have any authority over holding the fare hike. The DMRC and the Delhi government have been locking horns since the second Metro fare hike from October 10 was proposed. The fare hike has come in as a recommendation from the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC).
However, Hardeep Singh Puri did not completely ruled out the halt in the fare hike, saying that a new FFC could be set up, but only if Delhi government agrees to pay Rs 3,000 annually. The DMRC was set-up in 1995 with equal equity from the Central government and Delhi government.
MoS Puri’s letter, dated October 6, to Kejriwal Government came in after Arvind Kejriwal, on September 29, had asked the Central Government to put the fare hike on hold. The letter to the Delhi government read, “Your suggestion that this Ministry direct that the fare increase be kept on hold overlooks the fact the central government does not have any such authority. Tampering with the recommendations of FFC is legally untenable.”
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.