The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation increased fares by ₹5 to ₹10 on Tuesday in the second phase of the hike announced in May.
Earlier, union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to pay up about Rs 3,000 crore annually for five years to DMRC, if it wants to continue low fares.
Interestingly, when the Delhi Metro had started its operations on December 25, 2002, the minimum fare was Rs 4 and maximum was Rs 8.
Last week, Mr. Kejriwal had asked Mr. Puri to hold off the hike for some time, suggesting that the Delhi government and the Centre bear the losses equally.
Puri dismiised Kejriwal's suggestion of the Centre and Delhi government sharing the operational expenses, saying it would be a violation of the existing policy governing financing of metro projects. It indicates that when the decision of hiking the fare was being taken, both the representatives were present there but they did not object. He also surmised that the current hike exceeded the rate of inflation - one of the causes of increase in income and price of goods and services.
"I can not recall a single tariff hike of over 100 per cent for any public service in sectors such as transport, electricity and water".
The DMRC had gone ahead with the fare hike despite the AAP government's strident opposition.
Referring to that, Mr. Kejriwal wrote: "This is truly a odd proposition". The biggest gathering of party volunteers was reported outside Vishwavidyalaya metro station where senior AAP leader and Delhi convener Gopal Rai led the agitation.
He also said that the three-way partnership between Centre, Delhi government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was a "facade" which is being used by the corporation for scoring large funding from the Delhi government.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday demanded that the Centre institute an independent inquiry into Delhi Metro's decision to hike fares and raised questions about the latter's accountability.