AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj speaking during the press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo/ANI
AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj speaking during the press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo/ANI

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj claims Metro ridership declined, attacks BJP for increased fares

ANI | Updated: Apr 28, 2019 23:40 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 28 (ANI): AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj on Sunday hit out at the BJP-led government at the Centre claiming that the ridership of Delhi Metro has taken a "historic hit" after the BJP-led central government doubled its fares.
"Delhi Metro Ridership has taken a historic hit–it is 3 lakhs lower than the ridership in March 2017 and overall 15 lakhs lower than the target at the end of Phase III completion. The ridership of Delhi Metro was 28 lakhs per day in March 2017 whereas it was only 25 lakhs per day in December 2018 – drop of 3 lakhs per day," Bhardwaj said during a press conference.
The AAP leader alleged that the Delhi Metro under the pressure of "BJP-ruled" central government had doubled the fares of Delhi Metro.
"Two years back, between May and October 2017, Delhi Metro under pressure from BJP-ruled Central Government had doubled the fares of Delhi metro within 6 months. AAP had opposed this move because we knew this would hit the masses and cause a decline in metro ridership and thereby increase congestion and pollution," he said.
Bhardwaj termed the fare hike as "total disaster" and said that it brought down ridership to a "historic low".
Hailing AAP government's success, he said: "While 4000 new buses(1000 standard floor CNG, 2000 low floor CNG and 1000 low floor electric) are in different phases of procurement, Delhi government has efficiently managed the existing fleet of 5,681 buses (DTC + Cluster)."
"Over the last two years, in the period when Delhi Metro ridership fell by 3 lakhs per day, without any increase in the fleet of buses the ridership of Delhi’s buses increased by 2 lakhs per day – from 40 lakhs to 42 lakhs per day," the AAP leader said.
Bhardwaj demanded a complete overhaul of the process and logic determining changes in Delhi Metro Fares.
"A technical committee comprising of Delhi government and DMRC officials, transport experts and transport economists should arrive at a set of recommendations," he said.
"An Apex Committee headed by Transport Minister of Delhi government and including MD, DMRC and the central government's nominee should take the final decision on the recommendations," Bhardwaj added.
Speaking further the AAP MLA said, "It should be ensured that the monthly public transport expenditure for poorest 20 per cent families should not cross a threshold – say 5 per cent. In Singapore, this ratio is decreased in the last 10 years from 4.1 to 2.7 per cent."
Bhardwaj also demanded that there should concessional passes for the students, senior citizens and economically weaker sections to make it affordable Delhi Metro affordable for all.
"In addition, concessional passes must be issued for students, senior citizens and Economically Weaker Sections – just like what Singapore and other large cities around the world do," he said. (ANI)