CM demands audit of DMRC accounts

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In a letter to the union minister, the Chief Minister has also requested that since the Centre and Delhi governments equally own the DMRC, its Board meeting should be convened to stay the proposed fare hike.

Mr. Kejriwal said that an audit was needed, as Delhiites "have already experienced how discoms used to hike tariffs by showing fake losses".

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.

Kejriwal also said that the elected government of Delhi had strongly opposed the fare hike in the Fare Fixation Committee meeting that took place in September previous year.

Yesterday, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) clarified that hike in the metro fare is necessary to meet the input costs and to keep providing world class service to the passengers commuting through it.

Kejriwal, in a statement issued by the Delhi government, also said the "income and expenditure details of the DMRC should be put in public domain". From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20.

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In response to the comments of Minister of State with Independent Charge in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri that though the central government was examining the letter of the Chief Minister, but Delhi Metro fares need to be hiked, Kejriwal said, "If the commuters would not be able to use the Metro because of high fares, what would be the utility of running the Metro".

Kejriwal in his letter to Puri said, the fare-fixation panel had recommended a gap of one year between two fare hikes and it will be violation of the recommendations if implemented, as the duration between the two fare hike is only six months. On the contrary, he said, Delhi Metro needs to increase its efficiency.

The proposal has been described as "unacceptable" by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has written to the Centre, demanding that the decision be withheld and reviewed. "Have ordered. Gahlot to find a solution to stop fare hike", Kejriwal tweeted. He said if metro ridership is coming down, as per RTI data, then its goal to bring down use of private vehicles is lost.

He also urged the DMRC to follow the Hong Kong model and not burden the common man with repeated hikes. He said the DMRC should go for property development, food courts and advertisements to generate revenue and not just passenger fares.

"In addition, the DMRC has taken a huge loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and a payment of Rs 26,760 crore is still to be paid back", it said. "The net loss before tax for 2016-17 comes to Rs 378.29 crore", it said.

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