In a letter to Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the “order” from the Ministry of Urban Development to Delhi’s chief secretary — to not call for an examination of the Metro fare hike — amounted to an “abuse of authority”. He added that it was “suspicious” that the Centre was attempting to “block information” and the “examination”.
Last week, Kejriwal had asked Chief Secretary M M Kutty to ensure that the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) sets up an inquiry into whether the “fare hike is justified and if it could have been avoided”. After Kutty refused to issue a letter, the CM alleged that he was being backed by the “BJP-led Centre”
Stating that the DMRC has received money on various types of purchases and doubled its fares, Kejriwal wrote: “Evidently, MoUD and DMRC do not wish to share this information… People are entitled to know if their money is being spent prudently… The present effort to block information and examination is bound to create a presumption that something is seriously wrong with the DMRC’s financial affairs.”
He argued that although DMRC was a government company, the Centre’s view was that the DMRC “is neither accountable to the Central government nor the state”. Kejriwal further said that as equal partners, the Delhi government “surely” has “the right to examine any matter pertaining to the DMRC”.
He added, “I have not ordered any formal inquiry, but only asked for the examination of various issues associated with the hike… Mere examination of facts and processes does not amount to passing any substantive order. As you know, DMRC can be compelled to part with requisite information even under the RTI Act. So the MoUD’s effort to suppress any examination relating to DMRC is a cause for serious concern.”