The AAP today announced launching of a city-wide protest against the Metro fare hike, and alleged that the decision to raise tariffs was taken by the Centre to “benefit” radio cab operators. Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai also sought to debunk the claim that the fare hike was being done to cut down Metro losses, and said if the travel tariffs increase, this will have a direct impact on ridership.
He said the AAP will launch a “satyagraha” to demand a rollback and protest outside all Metro stations tomorrow and will gherao Nirman Bhawan, the office of the Union Urban Development Ministry, on Thursday. “The Modi government’s decision to hike the fare is unfortunate and taken with animosity. They (the UD ministry) say that Metro is running into losses, but this is not true. How come the losses started mounting since last one year,” Rai told reporters.
He said despite fervent efforts made by the Delhi government to stop the fare hike, including expressing its willingness to share the operational costs, the Centre has gone ahead with the proposed fare hike. “The increase in the fare is not to shore up the losses, but it appears that the main purpose is to benefit the Ola and Uber (radio cab operators). The fare hike will further congest Delhi and increase pollution,” Rai added.
AAP MLAs have been raising the issue in the Delhi Legislative Assembly and a resolution, to oppose the proposed hike, was passed by the House as well. The hike, which comes five months within the last one, will affect every commuter of the mass rapid transit who travels beyond 5 km, while journeys falling in the 2-5 km distance slab will cost Rs 5 more.
The revised fare structure will be: up to 2 km — Rs 10, 2 to 5 km — Rs 20, 5 to 12 km — Rs 30, 12 to 21 km — Rs 40, 21 to 32 km — Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.