New Delhi: After fares were made more expensive last month by between 20 and 50 percent, the Delhi Metro lost three lakh commuters a day, a Right to Information application has revealed.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had vehemently argued against the more expensive rides, but was over-ruled by the centre, with whom he shares a substantial and sustained hostility.
Delhi was enveloped with toxic smog for an entire week earlier this month, triggering a national discussion on public transport and pollution.
Doctors described the smog and its impact on residents, which included the shutting down of all schools, as a public emergency. The hazardous air quality that busted permissible limits day after day by upto 100 times was attributed to vehicular pollution, dust from construction sites and the illegal burning of crops on farms in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana which refused outright to curb the “stubble-burning.”
Chief Minister Kejriwal in a letter to the centre had pointed out that prices had been raised in May, less than six months before the new hike that came into effect on October 10.
Price hikes are cleared by a committee that combines representatives of the Delhi government with those of the centre.