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Give Rs 3K cr as annual grant if you want withdrawal of metro fare hike: BJP to Delhi govt

BJP demanded the Delhi government give a Rs 3,000 crore annual grant if it wanted the withdrawal of the proposed metro fare hike.

Edited by: India TV Politics Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: October 11, 2017 14:13 IST ]
Delhi Metro fare hike will come into effect today

The BJP on Sunday demanded the Delhi government give a Rs 3,000 crore annual grant if it wanted the withdrawal of the proposed metro fare hike and abstained from the session that passed a resolution against the increase in the assembly. The House passed the government resolution to oppose the proposed metro fare hike, moved by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, with a voice vote. 

Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta claimed that rules stipulate that the state government must bear the full operational loses of the Metro Rail. 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had offered to take over the DMRC to make it more efficient and said his government was ready to provide half of the funds needed to meet the gap in its finances for three months. The demand of Rs 3,000 crore from the Delhi government scheduled to come into effect from today, was raised by the Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. 

"The Delhi government must provide an annual grant-in-aid of about Rs 3,000 crore if it wants the fare hike in Delhi Metro to be put on hold," Gupta said. 

even as a Union Minister rejected Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's offer to take over the DMRC.

The Delhi Assembly yesterday passed a resolution against the fare hike in the assembly. 

He alleged that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was "misleading" the people when he says that the Centre and the Delhi government are equal partners in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), implying that both must bear equal operational loses. 

Gupta also alleged that the Delhi government was creating "hurdles" in the smooth journey of the Delhi Metro. 

Also Read: Delhi Metro fares to be dearer from today, rise of Rs 10 for travel beyond 5 km

"The Phase-III of the Delhi Metro was planned to be completed by December 16, 2016. But due to inaction of the Delhi government the work was delayed by over 15 months," he said. 

The BJP legislators also demanded that the Delhi government to reduce the 5 per cent VAT on petrol and diesel. 

The discussion on the proposed hike in metro fare got off to a rocky start in the Assembly with two BJP MLAs, who sought an apology from Kejriwal for allegedly using "foul language" in a recent debate on guest teachers, were marshalled out of the House. 

Centre rejects Kejriwal's offer on DMRC

Union Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday rejected Kejriwal's offer to take over the DMRC, while suggesting that the city government may explore taking up the operations of its proposed phase IV as a "test case". 

Puri also dismissed Kejriwal's suggestion that the Centre and Delhi government share the operational expenses of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), saying it would be a violation of the existing policy governing financing of metro projects. 

"While I appreciate your confidence, enthusiasm and keenness to take on more responsibility, I am constrained to point out that this again is also not in line with existing policy. 

"The Policy in respect of 50:50 joint venture metro projects as is the case of DMRC, does not envisage metro operations either by the state or central governments. It is precisely for this reason that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) have been created and are meant to do so," Puri wrote in a letter to Kejriwal. 

Puri also dismissed Kejriwal's claim that the DMRC's efficiency is "below par", saying the its quality standards are comparable with the best in the world and it is one of the success stories of India. 

Puri said Kejriwal's suggestion that the Union government share the operational expenses of DMRC alongwith the Delhi Government is against the extant policy on financing of metro rail projects. 

(With PTI inputs)

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