Will fund DMRC 50% if Centre does so: Kejriwal

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The Delhi Metro fares were just last revised in May. The DMRC and the Delhi government have been locking horns since the second Metro fare hike from October 10 was proposed.

Set up by the Central government previous year to see the case for and recommend a price hike, the three-member FFC, comprising a nominee each from the Central and the Delhi governments and a retired judge of Delhi High Court, had approved a two-phase hike in May.

If Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wants to keep Delhi metro fares low, then the city government should contribute almost ₹3,000 crore per annum for the next five years to meet the DMRC's operational losses, Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has suggested.

The DMRC was formed in 1995 with equal equity participation of the Central government and the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.

DMRC chief Mangu Singh also met Kejriwal at his residence. After a notice was issued by DCW to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) following the announcement, it has replied that the recommendations, made by the fare fixation committee (FFC) set up by the Centre, is binding on the Metro as per DMRC Act, the letter said.

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Offering to take over DMRC, the CM said his government was willing to bear half the grant if only the Central govt provides a matching grant.

He pointed out that as per the metro guidelines, the operational loss is the responsibility of the Delhi government.

The DMRC defended its announcement of increasing fares by saying that the input costs had gone up over the years which is why the fares needed to be increased. The Delhi government is ready to bear half the grant for three months to stop the increase in Metro fares next week if the remaining amount is provided by the Centre. "However, till that happens, let the spirit of partnership prevail and I do hope that you will and a mutually acceptable solution to the present impasse relating to the second fare hike which we clearly regard as anti-people", the letter said.

The Centre has informed the Delhi government that the Metro Act does not allow it to put on hold the hike in Delhi Metro fares which will be effective from October 10, a source said on Saturday. "If only the representatives of the Central Government on the DMRC Board cooperate, the needful can be done", the letter read. For travelling more than 2 km, the passenger's ticket price is expected to increase by Rs 5-10.

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