'Set up expert group to review Metro fares'

A large number of daily commuters in Delhi metro are women

In a sarcastically-worded reply to Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday, the Chief Minister called the fare hike a "Diwali gift for the people of Delhi duly wrapped in your. letter".

The Delhi unit of the Congress party has chose to stage protests outside metro stations in the city tomorrow against the recent increase in its fare.

The decision of hike in metro fare was taken by the three-member Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) which was formed a year ago with one representative from the Centre and the Delhi government each and the third, a retired high court judge.

"We will keep people aware of the politics being played between the BJP-led Central Government and the Kejriwal-led Delhi Government on the issue of the Metro fare hike", he said. "The "fight" between the Delhi Government and the Center is going to put a big question mark on the future of the Phase-IV of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation", Maken said.

The new development by the Delhi government comes just a day after the DMRC confirmed the fare hike overriding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's relentlessness to it. In Delhi, the metro fares were increased last time in 2009.

He argued that though the Delhi government and the Centre were "equal partners" in the Metro, the AAP government had "virtually no say in its management".

The policy, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet in August, allows states to draw up rules and set up a fare fixation committee (FFC) for periodic revision of fares.

The survey found that around 97 per cent women said that they want a rollback in the fare.

The fare hike which came into effect on Tuesday, has increased ticket prices by Rs 10 for all travels beyond 5 km.

The hikes are being done in an effort to make the Metro operations viable.

The Chief Minister, who had offered to bear half the losses that the metro incurs till a relook is taken at the fare hike, also called for restructuring the management structure of the Delhi Metro.

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