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Govt now planning to hike DTC bus fares, claims Swaraj India

Says ‘mindless and unjust’ fares will only benefit private operators

December 01, 2017 02:04 am | Updated 02:04 am IST - New Delhi

After the recent Delhi Metro fare hike, the Delhi government is now planning to revise the fares of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, Swaraj India claimed here on Thursday.

Swaraj India Delhi president and chief spokesperson Anupam sought to “expose” the plans of the Delhi government to increase the fares of DTC buses based on official government documents here.

Delhi Master Plan

Quoting the Delhi Master Plan, which has a target of 15,000 buses by 2020, Swaraj India claimed that the DTC board had made it clear to the Delhi government that if matters are allowed to continue there might not even be “a single bus in Delhi”.

“The mindless and unjust increase of fares of various modes of public transport in Delhi will only benefit private operators like Ola and Uber,” he claimed.

On his part, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot took to Twitter to counter the Yogendra Yadav-led political outfit’s claims.

“Futile attempts to mislead the public. Have NO basis. There is NO proposal whatsoever to hike DTC fares - all these are LIES [sic],” the Minister said.

Referring to the fourth Metro Fare Fixation Committee report, Mr. Anupam sought to show how Delhi government representatives, the DTC Managing Director and the Secretary-cum-Transport Commissioner reported that once metro fares were increased the fares of DTC buses will also be revised.

“The documents make it clear that the Delhi government had made prior plans to increase the fares of DTC buses... In fact, it is shocking to note that Delhi Metro fares were increased only on an assurance from DTC that bus fares too will be revised later,” he claimed.

Mr. Anupam said that at a time when we should be busy working towards making Delhi’s public transport affordable and more convenient, the government was “busy ensuring that it remains beyond the reach of common public”.

Decline in standards

As per data shared at the press conference, the quality standards as well as fleet strength had witnessed a steady decline in Delhi.

“In fact, the number of buses in the Capital has decreased in the past three years, the per kilometre cost of operation has increased steadily, and ridership in DTC buses has seen a constant decrease,” he argued.

According to the documents presented, the number of people travelling in buses was 43.47 lakh in 2013-14, which dipped to 38.87 lakh in 2014-15. In 2015-16, the number further decreased to 35.37 lakh and finally to 30.33 lakhs in 2016-17.

On March 16, a meeting of the DTC board was held at the Delhi Secretariat, in which the report detailing the falling number DTC employees as well as buses was put forward.

“The board shockingly reported that if the trend continues, by 2025 DTC will not have a single bus left and the number of employees will reduce to 6,517 personnel, including 5,052 regular drivers. After a detailed discussion, the board decided to make the Delhi government aware of the situation,” Mr. Anupam added.

The government, he claimed, had enough resources to buy new buses and money was raised through an environment cess as well. “EPCA sources have said that even bus shelters were identified. But the Delhi government did not make any procurements and continued to keep public transport in misery. Perhaps the government does not want to buy new buses unless fares are increased,” he claimed.

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