Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken Thursday approached the Delhi High Court on the issue of the capital’s depleting DTC fleet, and sought a subsidy on the sky-rocketing Delhi Metro fares. Observing that it’s an “urgent issue”, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao issued notice to the Delhi government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), seeking their reply as to why the Metro fare should not be subsidised.
Maken, in his application, cited statistics received under an RTI from the DMRC to contend that post the fare hike in October 2017, the Metro has been losing three lakh passengers per day. Senior counsel Vikas Singh and advocate Aman Panwar, appearing for the leader, submitted that at the cost of losing three lakh passengers per day, the DMRC is only earning an additional amount of Rs 755.92 crore per year.
Maken has approached the court to seek impleadment in a pending writ petition that raised a similar issue.
The main petition was filed by Nipun Malhotra, who challenged the Delhi government’s move to procure 2,000 standard-floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore. Malhotra had claimed that these were not equipped for wheelchairs and will directly and substantially affect about 2.34 lakh differently abled people in the capital. The court had stayed the procurement and slammed the Delhi government for not buying low-floor disabled-friendly CNG buses due to high cost.
Maken, in his plea, demanded that the Delhi government and the Centre be directed to release subsidy of Rs 755.92 crore in order to restore the Delhi Metro ridership.
The court fixed the matter for hearing on September 27.