A day after the second phase of Delhi Metro fare hike was implemented, protests against the move continued in the city. Members of the AAP gathered at 69 stations, with AAP Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai spearheading the protest outside Vishwavidyalaya Metro station.
Calling it ‘Kiraya Satyagraha’, Rai said, “Despite the opposition by the Delhi government and CM Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the central government went ahead with the fare hike. The people of Delhi are very angry about it as it affects the monthly budgets of those who live in the city.”
Meanwhile, CM Arvind Kejriwal wrote to chief secretary MM Kutty and asked him to direct the Delhi Dialogue Commission to examine issues pertaining to the “steep hike in Metro fares”. A two-week slugfest had ensued between the AAP, DMRC and the central government regarding the hike, with the DMRC clarifying that it “cannot interfere in the decision made by the 4th Fare Fixation Committee.”
On Monday, after a two-hour meeting, the DMRC confirmed it would go ahead with the second phase of the hike, in which ticket prices have gone up by a maximum Rs 10. “The Delhi government was willing to pay Rs 1,500 crore a year but the Centre wasn’t ready to pay its half… which is why the fare hike has happened,” Rai alleged.
On October 13, AAP members will protest outside the Ministry of Urban Development in Nirman Bhawan.
The Delhi Metro Commuters’ Association also held a protest outside the Ministry of Urban Development. “We demand that a review committee be set up, which also has commuters on board… till the report is out, there should be a rollback of fare to what it was before the first phase, which was implemented in May,” said Sachin Singh Bhandari, convener, DMCA.
The Delhi BJP too “sought relief” from the Urban Development Minister and said a request was made “to review the new fare”.