A DAY after Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chief Mangu Singh announced that 10 Metro stations would go “completely cashless” from January 1 and switch to Paytm, the DMRC Saturday clarified that “at least one cash counter will be functional” so that commuters without smartphones are not turned away.
“Ten stations…will go completely cashless…as part of the Government of India’s vision to transform India into a cashless economy,” read Friday’s DMRC statement. On Friday afternoon, Singh told reporters that “initially”, one cash counter at each station will be operational.
Following a backlash, Delhi Metro clarified that Paytm was finalised through an open tender process. Officials added that the DMRC is also in talks with other e-wallet companies. DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said, “Paytm is only one of the methods available in DMRC for facilitating such transactions. Ticket vending machines and point of sale machines are also available…”
“Process to rope in other such players (e-wallet) is underway. Very soon, other e-wallet agencies will facilitate cashless transactions at Metro stations,” he said.
Rohini (East), Rohini (West), M G Road, Mayur Vihar Phase I, Nirman Vihar, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri West, Noida Sector 15, Nehru Place and Kailash Colony were chosen because at least 70 per cent of the ridership here already use smart cards, and the stations also have adequate mobile connectivity, officials said.
A Delhi government spokesperson said, “Once the DMRC officially intimates the Delhi government, we will ask them for a reply on how and why they decided to go cashless and why they specified Paytm for cashless payments… Delhi Metro cannot deny a passenger travel if he has a legally valid token or the right to pay for it through cash.”