The Delhi government has written to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) seeking details of steps being taken to stop the slide in the Metro ridership, and an immediate roll back of the fare hike.
In a letter to DMRC MD Mangu Singh, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said the falling ridership is triggering more pollution and traffic as people are switching to private transport.
The Delhi government’s latest communication comes against the backdrop of CM Arvind Kejriwal renewing his demand for withdrawal of the fare hike, which came in two rounds in May and October, 2017.
“I am to refer to a report in the daily The Indian Express dated 21.06.2018 regarding Delhi Metro’s daily ridership in the year 2018 plummeting by around 5 lakh during the corresponding days of the year 2017. Government of NCT of Delhi is extremely concerned by this development. Firstly, please indicate if the figures mentioned in the report are correct. If yes, the reasons for the same may be indicated. Steps being taken by DMRC to stem the declining ridership may also be indicated,” Gahlot wrote.
“I am again conveying the stand of the Government of Delhi that Metro fares must be immediately brought down to pre-2017 level as it would help the Delhi Metro in stemming the recent shift from Metro to private transport, which in turn is adding to pollution levels in Delhi and also creating traffic nightmares,” he wrote further.
The DMRC chief has been urged to respond by June 26.
The assessment of data obtained through an RTI application shows that the Metro has been losing commuters, to the tune of five lakh daily, in the recent months as compared to the pre-fare hike period.