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Metro fares go up, commuters react sharply (Lead)

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Delhi Metro on Tuesday steeply increased its fares — the second time this year — despite opposition from the Delhi government, igniting mostly negative responses from commuters amid some confusion over the hike.

Barring the minimum fare of Rs 10 for a distance of 0-2 km, which will remain the same, fares were hiked for all other slabs.

Accordingly, the fare now is Rs 10 for up to two km, Rs 20 for 2-5 km, Rs 30 for 5-12 km, Rs 40 for 12-21 km, Rs 50 for 21-32 km and Rs 60 for a ride beyond 32 km.

A Metro official said the minimum hike was Rs 5 and the maximum Rs 10. Smart card users will continue to get 10 per cent discount, so would those who use Metro during non-peak hours – between start of the metro service till 8 a.m., between noon and 5 p.m. and from 9 p.m. till the close of service.

Commuters IANS spoke with said they paid more than Rs 10 on the first day of the hike.

For example, Ravi Ranjan, who travels daily between Malviya Nagar and Noida Sector 16, used to pay Rs 32 for one-way ride. “But today I ended up paying Rs 45 which is Rs 13 more,” Ranjan told IANS.

Similarly, Aroonim Baruah, who travels daily from Noida City Centre to his office in Sector 16, used to pay Rs 13.5 during peak hour travel. And on Tuesday, he said, Rs 27 were deducted from his smart card.

This is the second hike by Delhi Metro in the last six months when DMRC raised the fare by Rs 20 in May and announced that fares will be revised again in October.

The latest increase drew strong reactions from commuters, with some saying they would consider alternative public transport.

“The hike is not fair. Who will be happy with such a steep rise, that too twice in a year,” said Ajay, a 40-year-old finance sector employee who commutes from Paschim Vihar to Rajiv Chowk.

“It has almost doubled. Till yesterday, I was charged Rs 27 and today I shelled out Rs 40 for the same distance,” he said.

Arvind Tripathi, 28, who works for a Japanese firm, said: “I paid Rs 60 today from Bata Chowk to Rajiv Chowk. This is not a good thing. Metro may be incurring losses but who isn’t?”

Another commuter, Sushant, a theatre artist, was also unhappy. He said the hike was not justified as there is no improvement in the services.

The fare hike was approved by the Fare Fixation Committee of three members, one each from the Delhi and central governments, and the third, a retired High Court judge.

Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government staunchly opposed the move calling it anti-people.

It declared a ‘Metro Fare Satyagraha’ at all Metro stations at 4 p.m. on Wednesday that would continue on Thursday and on Friday at 12 noon when AAP workers will lay siege to the Union Urban Development Ministry housed in Nirman Bhavan here.

Delhi AAP convenor Gopal Rai said the fare hike will benefit only the cab aggregators, like Ola and Uber, whose services will become cheaper than Metro.

Asked how this was possible, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said the cabs provide point to point connectivity while Metro commuters hire cycle rickshaws or auto rickshaws to and from Metro stations.

“In some cases, the fare difference between Metro and shared cab rides would be minimal but people may not mind paying a bit more for cab rides,” Bhardwaj told IANS.

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the RSS-student wing, staged a demonstration outside the Metro Bhawan here, demanding the roll back of the hike or the issuance of a metro pass on lines of DTC bus pass for students.

–IANS
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Post Source: Ians feed

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