Travelling by the public transport system in the Capital has become dearer. Hot on the heels of the bus fare hike, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Wednesday announced an increase in fares. Commuters will have to shell out between Rs.2 and Rs.8 more for a ride on the metro from this Friday.

Claiming that the fare hike had been long overdue, DMRC authorities justified the increase in fares on the grounds that its expenditure had grown on account of its expanding network and the additional burden levied by the Six Pay Commission.

As per the revised fare structure, the minimum fare will go up from Rs.6 to Rs.8 while the maximum will go up from Rs.22 to Rs.30002

“The average increase in fare for all slabs is around 36 per cent. The present scheme of 10 per cent discount on smart cards will continue and there will be no change in the slab formulation compared with existing ones up to 24 km to 27 km,” said DMRC Director (Finance) R.N. Joshi.

Referring to the revision in fares, he said: “After the metro was inaugurated in 2002, the first fare revision was carried out in March 2004, while the second ones took place in December 2005. It is only after four years that the third fare fixation committee headed by Justice (retd.) E. Padmanabhan was constituted in June 2009 and fares revised.”

The DMRC official asserted that the revised prices are “modest” and will not affect the passenger load. He refuted the suggestion that a hike in fares will mean fewer footfalls for the metro.

“The consumer price index has played a dominant role in fixing the fares. The fare fixing committee determined the fare keeping in mind this index. Besides, a fare hike was required to meet the expenses incurred on expanding the network from 65 km to 165 km, rise in all components of cost and the increase in the consumer price index,” Mr. Joshi said.

“There is an increase of over 30 per cent under various heads, including establishment cost, energy cost and maintenance cost. The DMRC also has to repay a loan of Rs.11,000 crore to the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Its interest and loan repayment would be in the range of Rs.500 crore to Rs.600 crore per year after the opening of the Phase-II section and the DMRC need to provide for huge depreciation, which is about Rs.700 crore per annum. The equipment needs maintenance and all that requires funds.

Comparing the metro fares with that of the buses, the official said the metro not only offers more comfort and quality, but on most long routes the fares are equal if not less than the air-conditioned bus fares.

“The new fares will benefit long distance commuter. To encourage long distance travel on metro, the fare fixation committee has also decided to increase the distance of five subsequent slabs by up to five km after 27 km while limiting the maximum fare increase to only Rs.8,” said Mr. Joshi.

Explaining the same with the aid of an example Mr. Joshi said, “For example, the earlier slab of more than 39 km has been changed to more than 44 km, while the fare for this slab has been increased from Rs.22 to Rs.30. There is no change in the slab formulation compared with existing ones up to 24 km to 27 km.”

The rate of tourist card, which has a validity of a single day, has been increased from Rs.70 to Rs.100, while the rate for a card with three days validity has been increased from Rs.200 to Rs.250.

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