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Delhi Metro may hike Ticket prices by 25%

"The minimum fare should be increased from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and maximum fare should be raised to Rs 50 from the present Rs 30."

In a step which will increase the daily commute cost for Delhiites, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Board is likely to increase the fares of travelling in metro by around 25%.

According to the reports, the sources privy to the information, have informed that DMRC Board will be approving the hike proposal of the fare fixation committee as it does not have the powers to veto. The hike would be implemented within a week of getting the nod from the Board.

However, there may be some discounts to offset the impact of fare hike, it added.

According to the recommendations of Fare-Fixation Committee (FCC) headed by retired judge M L Mehta of Delhi High Court, the minimum fare should be increased from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and maximum fare should be raised to Rs 50 from the present Rs 30.

Additionally, during the non-peak hours an additional discount of 10% would be given to the smart card user and a discount of Rs 10 would be given on the highest and the second highest tariff, the source said. So post these discounts the average fare hike, barring the highest slab, would be effectively 27%.

It has been reported that recommendations were made keeping in mind passengers’ “affordability” and DMRC’s “sustainability”, which is in dire need to increase its revenue.

In a report of Times of India, it quoted Government officials as saying that considering the recommendation of FCC was one of the major items on the board’s agenda on Monday. “As per the norm, the DMRC Board is bound to accept the recommendation. This time, one of the members in the committee had not signed the report and said the study was not complete,” said an official. But two members had signed it and as per the DMRC Act, the report has to be submitted within three months of its constitution.

It is to be noted that last revision in fares was done by DMRC in September 2009 when the minimum fare was raised to Rs 8 from Rs 6 earlier and maximum to Rs 30 from Rs 22.

However, since then, the cost of electricity has gone up manifold. Cost of per-unit power in 2009-10 was Rs 3.21, which doubled to Rs 7.25 a unit in 2015-16. DMRC’s energy expenditure in 2009-10 was Rs 83.2 crore, which rose to a whopping Rs 520.5 crore in 2015-16. Reportedly, DMRC consumes 65 per cent of energy for traction with 35 per cent consumed by other auxiliary services for various passenger facilities such as air conditioning, lighting, fire and hydraulics, lift escalators, etc.

Expenditure towards energy constitutes 38 per cent of DMRC’s total operational expenses. DMRC, which suffered a net loss of Rs 708.5 crore in 2015-16, has the liability of returning interest on loan, return of the principal and depreciation.

As the network size and commuters has increased, the expenses of DMRC have also increased exponentially. In order to curtail the expenses, the corporation has switched to solar power and set up solar panels to generate energy, the reports said.Interestingly, DMRC is running trains in energy-saving mode, de-energising the idle trains, optimising the air-conditioning levels, etc.

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