Delhi Metro losing three lakh commuters a day after fare hike reveals RTI

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New Delhi: Delhi Metro is losing nearly three lakh commuters a day after it announced a steep hike in fare on October 10, an RTI query has revealed.

The metro's daily average ridership dipped from 27.4 lakh in September to 24.2 lakh in October, translating to a decline of around 11 percent.

The Blue Line, considered the metro's busiest route, lost over 30 lakh commuters, according to data shared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in response to an RTI query.

The 50-km corridor connects Dwarka to Noida. The metro currently has a 218-km network across Delhi-NCR.

The fall, in terms of absolute numbers, was over 19 lakh on the Yellow Line, another busy corridor which connects Gurgaon to north Delhi's Samaypur Badli, the DMRC said in its reply.

The ridership on the Violet Line, which connects ITO to Faridabad, plunged by 11.9 lakh in October. 

The number of riders on the Red Line, from Dilshad Garden to Rithala, came down by 7.5 lakh.

Ridership has come down several notches below the numbers observed in recent years, bucking a trend of rise on the back of the launch of newer sections.

In fact, in October 2016, the metro's daily average ridership was also 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today attacked the Centre for rejecting his demands for reverting the fare hike decision. The recent metro fare hike has not benefited anyone, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said after an RTI query revealed that the Delhi Metro lost over three lakh commuters a day due to the fare increase.

Kejriwal, who along with his Aam Aadmi Party had opposed the fare hike, said that many passengers have taken to other means of transport, leading to increased pollution and congestion on the city's roads.

"That many passengers have taken to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefited anyone," Kejriwal tweeted.

On October 10, DMRC effected the fare hike, leading to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100 percent.

After the first phase of the hike in May, the metro lost nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has mounted a stiff opposition to the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre.

The Delhi Assembly even passed a resolution to oppose the fare increase by the Delhi Metro with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, alleging that it was a "conspiracy" to benefit private cab companies.

However, the DMRC and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri supported the move saying it was essential to maintain metro's financial as well as operational health.

He rejected Kejriwal's opposition, saying the Centre was in no position to disregard the recommendations of a Fare Fixation Committee which had drawn up the revised fare list.

The revised fare structure is: up to 2 km - Rs 10, 2 to 5 km - Rs 20, 5 to 12 km - Rs 30, 12 to 21 km - Rs 40, 21 to 32 km - Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km - Rs 60. 

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