The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has announced a 30-50 per cent hike in its existing fare structure. The new fares will be effective from Wednesday.
While DMRC has increased the minimum fare from Rs 4 to Rs 6, it has fixed the fare for the extended 21-km Shahdara-Rithala section (to be operational from March 31) at Rs 14. The fare from Shahdara to Shastri Nagar will be Rs 11, instead of the existing Rs 8.
DMRC will also open the new 8.9-km Inderlok-Rithala section to the public on Wednesday. With this, the length of Line 1 of the Delhi Metro would now be 21 km. It will be covered in about 38 minutes.
Even after the fare revision, the Delhi Metro's fare of Rs 12 for the stretch between Rohini and the Inter-State Bus Terminus is at par with bus fares charged by the Delhi Transport Corporation and private Blueline operators.
To encourage long-distance travel by Metro commuters, DMRC has retained the cost per km for the 21-km full section at around Rs 0.65, the same as that of the operational 12.3-km Shahdara-Shastri Nagar section.
DMRC officials said the 50 per cent hike in minimum fare slab was justified as very few commuters travelled for less than 2 km. "Even in the 12-15 km slab, where the hike looks steep, the revised metro fare is even less than the bus fare," they said.
The hike was recommended by the three-member Fare Fixation Committee.
The DMRC Board, which has representatives from the central and the Delhi governments, had discussed the hike yesterday. The Centre's nominees opposed the fare hike.
"The issue had to be put on vote and subsequently a decision on the hike could be taken," DMRC managing director E Sreedharan said.
According to a DMRC official, the verdict of the Fare Fixation Committee is binding on the DMRC Board. While the Board can only decide the timing of the hike, it cannot tinker with the quantum of the hike suggested by the committee.
The committee was constituted under Section 34 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002.
The first set of fares, fixed by DMRC, incorporated a discount of 20 per cent on the fares suggested by the National Council of Applied Economic Research, which did the preliminary fare study for the Metro.