Fare hike did not benefit anyone, says Kejriwal

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"If people stop using it, then what objective does it serve", Kejriwal tweeted.

While 80,000 people stopped using the transit system following the May hike, that figure has jumped to 3.2 lakh after the October fare increase.

A day after an RTI query revealed that Delhi Metro has lost almost three lakh commuters since the day it announced a steep hike in fare on October 10, Union Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri said the data should be examined for at least two to three months.

The 218-km network now has six major lines.

Opposing the hike in fares, Delhi Government has locked horns with the DMRC and Centre in the matter.

According to the DMRC's records, the fall in October was the steepest ever.

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The media reported an average loss of about three lakh riders daily in the month of October - down to 24.2 lakh from an average daily ridership of 27.4 lakh across the network.

The 11% fall in the month of October may indicate that a lot of regular passengers have now taken to other modes of transport, both public and private, in the wake of the fare increase and this may have been a major contributing factor in the higher pollution witnessed in Delhi during October-November 2017. "Neither the Delhi Government nor the Central Government has authority to decide fares of Delhi Metro, only fare fixation committee can do that".

The Delhi metro passengers now have to pay Rs. 10 more from Oct 10 if they travelled beyond five km. Puri said monthly variations in ridership were not uncommon and cited previous instances when October saw a decline in ridership (see graphic).

Delhi Metro is a capital intensive project.

"Those who understand the precepts of public infrastructure creation will also understand that if a world class infrastructure like the Delhi Metro has to be run efficiently as it is being run today, then its long-term liabilities in terms of loan repayment and asset replacement needs to be discharged timely", the Ministry said.