A panel looking into ticket prices for Delhi Metro has recommended a 66 per cent hike in fares. It is up to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) board to accept the fourth Fare Fixation Committee’s recommendation. The DMRC board has rejected proposals to raise fares on previous occasions. Delhi Metro fares were last revised in 2009.
Sources said the fare panel recommended that the minimum fares be increased from Rs 8 to Rs 10, and the maximum fares from Rs 30 to Rs 50, keeping in view “affordability” for passengers and “sustainability” of DMRC. “The committee submitted its report to the DMRC board after its request for three months’ extension was turned down by the Urban Development Ministry. The board, headed by the Urban Development Secretary, will take the call on the recommendations,” said a government source.
To simplify the fare structure, the panel recommended ticket pricing to be in Rs 10, Rs 15, Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 40 and Rs 50 format. With electricity charges, which comprise 40 per cent of the expenditure for the DMRC, rising by over 100 per cent since 2009, the corporation had expressed a wish for minimum fares to be increased to Rs 15 and maximum to Rs 70.
“The fare revision has been long overdue and we have been demanding it. There are increasing operational costs like salaries and DA of employees,” said a DMRC official. The official added that the Metro’s operating ratio — the ratio of cost of operation to savings and profit — had fallen to 50 per cent of what it was in 2002.
“In 2002, when the Metro began operations, the operating ratio was 0.42, which means we saved almost 60 per cent of the revenue. Today, the operating ratio is 0.67, which leaves us with 33 per cent in savings. Of those savings, we have to pay off instalments of the Rs 30,000 crore loan taken from Jica, the Japanese company which financed the project,” said the official.