Ready to pay half of grant to DMRC if Centre pays other half: Kejriwal

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday wrote to Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and said that his government is ready to bear the losses the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will suffer due to suspension in metro price hike, only if the central government pays the matching grant.

Kejriwal’s comments come a day after the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) suggested the Delhi Government that it would need to pay Rs. 3,000 crore annually for five years to stop the rise in the metro fare.

Puri wrote this in response to Kejriwal’s letter dated September 29 where he had put the onus on the central government to withhold any increase in metro fares.

In a letter written on Sunday, the Chief Minister said, “The Central Government and Delhi Government are 50:50 owners of DMRC. Let an assessment of the financial gap likely to be created on account of postponement of the second fare hike and we will be able to bear half of it.”

Not only this, but Kejriwal also said that from the recent developments, it is evident that the relationship is not one of equal partners since what the Delhi Government proposals are often disposed by the Centre.

Citing the example of Kolkata Metro, Kejriwal said as the central government bears 100% of loss for it; bearing 50% loss in case of Delhi doesn’t seem difficult.

Deepening the contention between the Centre and the Delhi Government, Kejriwal also suggested that his government is willing to take over DMRC and it would be able to fund the metro by improving its efficiency.

The DMRC is to implement its second fare revision on Tuesday.

The Delhi Metro fares were last revised in May. If the fare is revised again, it is expected to go up by a maximum of Rs. 10 w.e.f. October 10.

Kejriwal has deemed this decision as “anti-people” and said his government is opposed to such a steep fare hike. (ANI)