NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that Delhi Metro's proposed fare hike, the second in five months, is clear a violation of law and urged the central government to put the hike on hold.
Kejriwal said the hike will be in violation of the Fare Fixation Committee's (FFC) recommendation that "there shall be a gap of one year between two fare hikes", an official statement from the Chief Minister's office said.
It said that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has claimed it is bound by recommendations of the FFC on fare hike, but by ignoring the time gap between two fare hikes the FFC recommendations are being "selectively implemented" by DMRC.
"Delhi government has never interfered in DMRC functioning, but it can't remain a mute spectator when commuters are being hit," Kejriwal said.
"Delhi government appeals to the central government to invoke its powers under Section 86 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002 to put on hold any fare hike till the entire matter is reviewed jointly by the central and Delhi governments," the statement read.
Delhi Metro fares are set to increase for a second time this year from October 10.
The last increase was in May when the minimum fare went up from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50.
DMRC and the AAP-led Delhi government have locked horns over the fare hike for the past one week.
Last Thursday, Kejriwal asked Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot to find a way to stop the "anti-people" fare hike within a week.
Later Gahlot met with DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh and asked DMRC to put on hold the impending fare hike till the Delhi government completes an inquiry on the proposed increase.
On Friday, AAP said it will launch a protest campaign if DMRC remained adamant on increasing the Metro fare.
DMRC defended its decision on fare hike saying its input costs have gone up over the years, and the increase is on par with other city metro rails.
On Saturday, Kejriwal urged Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri to direct DMRC to withhold the fair hike and on Sunday he called for an independent audit of the DMRC's accounts.