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The Delhi Metro is the longest network that carries around 2.8 million people every day.

The recent hike in Delhi Metro fares, the second such increase this year, is not a one-off case.

Such revisions would now be done at regular intervals and for all networks across the country, a government official told Hindustan Times on Tuesday, citing the new Metro policy.

Cleared by the Union cabinet in August, it allows states to draw up rules and set up a fare fixation committee (FFC) for periodic revision of fares.

“The policy says that fares have to be revised at regular intervals to make the Metro rail viable,” the government official said.

In 1984, Kolkata, then Calcutta, became the first Indian city to get the Metro, which has changed the face of public transport and the way people commute.

The Delhi Metro is the longest network that carries around 2.8 million people every day.

The Metro is also operational in cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. In most places, it is a joint venture between the union and the state governments with loans also coming from foreign government’s such as Japan for the Delhi Metro.

At present, temporary FFCs are set up by the Centre for states whenever the metro rail corporations request a fare hike. The fares are revised on the recommendations of an FFC, which is set up for three months.

For instance, the FFC for the Delhi Metro was set up in June 2016. In its report submitted in September, the committee recommended a staggered hike.

On May 8, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation approved the recommendation that said fares be increased in two rounds. The first round was on May 10 when minimum ticket costs were raised from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50.

The second hike kicked in from October 10, triggering a political slugfest and a round of protests.

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal termed higher fares as “anti-people”, pointing fingers at the Centre. The Delhi assembly has set up to examine the logic behind the hike.

Metro fares are revised to help the public transporter meet operational costs and provide world-class service, transport sector experts say.

“The London tube’s fares are revised every year. In countries like Singapore the Metro fares are revised periodically. In Delhi, the last time the fares were increased was way back in 2009,” a housing ministry official said.

The FFC set up for the Mumbai Metro last year recommended the maximum fare be raised to Rs 110 from Rs 40. The Bombay high court is hearing a petition by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority against the hike.

Fare revision is also due for Namma Metro, or the Bengaluru Metro, that was inaugurated in 2011.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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