Government should pay half funs for the Delhi metro - kejiriwal

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In a letter to Kejriwal, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri reportedly said on Friday that such a provision has been suggested since the operational loss is the responsibility of the state government as per the metro guidelines.

According to the Newspaper, . "Let an assessment be made of the financial gap likely to be created on account of the postponement of the second fare hike, and we will be able to bear half of it", wrote Mr. Kerjiwal.

Existing rules do not allow the central government to interfere with the Metro train fares, neither do they allow metro operations either by the state or central governments, Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday. "If only the representatives of the Central Government on the DMRC Board cooperate, the needful can be done", the letter read. For travel distance of less than two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10.

The last revision of fares were undertaken in 2009. "Nothing major. The case will be dealt with by the Metro Police since it is a law and order issue", an official of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) told IANS.

The second hike in Metro fares in less than six months forced Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to come out in support of people battling the brunt of inflation and demand that the move be put on hold.

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The discussion on the proposed hike in metro fare got off to a rocky start in the Assembly with two BJP MLAs, who sought an apology from Kejriwal for allegedly using "foul language" in a recent debate on guest teachers, were marshalled out of the House.

The DMRC was formed in 1995 with equal equity participation of the Central government and the government of NCT of Delhi. He also mooted an alternative plan, wherein the Delhi government would provide half the funds required by the Metro authorities so long as the Centre shells out a matching amount.

He said that as per Section 37 of the Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, recommendations of the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) are "binding and sacrosanct and the central government cannot interfere in the matter of metro fares".

Delhi Metro managing director Mangu Singh also met the chief minister at his residence on Sunday.

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