Many commuters say their pockets now pinch

Posted on Oct 11 2017 - 8:10pm by admin
Shahdara resident Rakesh Kumar is a worried man. Employed with a private firm, he is worried that his monthly budget would go haywire due to the Metro fare hike.“I don’t have a high salary, and the difference of even Rs 10 in fare is going to impact my monthly budget,“ Kumar said. He uses a smart card and the fare was Rs 16 to his destination earlier; now, it’s Rs 24.The 45-year-old said this second hike in a year is a little too drastic for people like him who are in the low-income bracket.

After 2009, Delhi Metro’s fares were hiked on May 10 this year. While before May fares were in the range of Rs 8-30 in 15 different slabs, now they range between Rs 10 and Rs 60 over six broad slabs. In most of the slabs, fares have more than doubled over those before the May hike.

DMRC has been demanding a fare hike for many years, citing rising input costs and wage bills. Also, a large chunk of DMRC’s earnings goes into repaying JICA’s loan.

There were other commu ters who thought fares should have been hiked gradually. “We are feeling the pinch because suddenly the fares have gone up so much, twice.The problem is that there is no alternative available to commuters because DTC bus service is just not reliable,“ said Indirapuram resident Subhasish Chakraborty .

“DMRC should now provide monthly passes to students because the fare is too high for students like me who survive on pocket money ,“ sa id Neha Bhatnagar, a Delhi University student.

Some commuters are also now thinking of carpooling as an alternative. “I will be spending about Rs 2,500 per month on Metro travel. I will spend almost the same amount if I pool cars with my neighbours,“ said Mukesh Batra, a Dilshad Garden resident.

DMRC says smart card users would not only get 10% discount on fares but an additional 10% off during off-peak hours (before 8am, noon to 5pm, and after 9pm).

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Many-commuters-say-their-pockets-now-pinch-11102017004057
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