Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said the suggestion that residents of Delhi switched to other modes of transport — cabs or personal cars — due to the hike in Metro fares “is absurd”.
The comments come in the backdrop of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal writing to Puri, seeking a review of the hike and reiterating the offer to partially bear the cost of reduction in fares.
“Desire to create false narrative on #MetroFare taking an amusing turn. It’s being suggested those who weren’t able to afford India’s cheapest Metro can actually afford to buy & run expensive cars or use cabs. You don’t have to be an economist to see absurdity of this argument,” the Union minister said on Twitter.
Hitting out at the AAP-led Delhi government, Puri said that if the Metro was becoming an “expensive luxury liner”, the city government should increase the number of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses. He further claimed that there was a 35 per cent dip in DTC ridership.
“If #Metro is an ‘expensive luxury liner’ then #DTC should immediately buy more buses to make up for shortfall of 7,000 buses & drastic 35% drop in ridership. Who’s responsible for this? Surely Delhi citizens deserve both — an efficient & reliable DTC & much better arguments!” Puri said in another Tweet.
Reacting to Puri’s tweet, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted: “Dear @HardeepSPuri sir : you are right — Delhi needs both the Metro & more DTC buses. We are procuring more buses & are ready to bear 50% of Metro losses. Please accept our offer & allow Delhiites a Metro ride at Reasonable and Affordable fares”.