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We Can Run Delhi Metro Efficiently Without Increasing Fares: Kejriwal

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| October 9 , 2017 , 08:42 IST

The Delhi Metro acts as a lifeline of sorts for Delhiites and those living in the NCR area. Recent reports of a second increase in metro fares after the first fare hike on May 10 this year, has become a cause of worry for commuters who use the metro on a daily basis.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday offered to take over the Delhi Metro and "run it efficiently without increasing fares".

Kejriwal had protested against the second rise in fares that had been scheduled to take place from October 10, terming the fare hike 'anti-people'.

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"We are confident that we will be able to fund DMRC by improving its efficiency rather than effecting steep fare hikes and provide an affordable means of transport to the people of Delhi," said Kejriwal, in response to Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri's defence of raising the fares.

Puri had told Kejriwal that to put a hold on the fare hike, the Delhi government should provide a grant to the Delhi metro of Rs 3,000 crore per annum, and the fare hike would be put on hold.

In a letter to Puri, Kejriwal said that the Delhi government was willing to bare half the revenue losses incurred by the DMRC if the Centre also contributed and paid the remaining half, saying that since the Centre and the state government were 50:50 owners of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the losses should also be shared.

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"Let an assessment be made of the financial gap likely to be created on account of the postponement of the second fare hike and we will be able to bear half of it," said Kejriwal.

The Delhi CM added, that since the Centre bears 100 percent of the losses incurred by the Kolkata metro, "I see no difficulty if the Centre bears 50% loss in case of Delhi".

Kejriwal alleged that while the Delhi and Centre governments were said to be equal partners in DMRC it was 'becoming evident' that the relationship was not of equal partnership.  

The Delhi government has asked for the fare hike to be put on hold till an audit is conducted of DMRC's finances.