NEW DELHI, 13 Jan: The new lieutenant governor, Anil Baijal created a new tussle in Delhi after returning Delhi government’s proposal to slash DTC bus fares by 75%.
Actually, Delhi transport minister Satyendra Jain announced in December to bring down the fare to Rs 5 for non-AC buses and Rs 10 for AC buses. The file to slash the price were to LG for approval earlier last week. But it was sent back on Wednesday -the first major proposal of the AAP government to be sent back by Baijal -for reconsideration.
He sent a note directing the government to review the proposal.
According to Sources the move was announced to encourage public transport and curb pollution, had earlier been vetoed by the city government’s finance department.
“The minister (Jain), however, was very keen and sent it to the LG despite objections from the finance department,” said an official.
The finance department had reportedly asked that the assertion that with fares being reduced, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) would get more commuters.
“The department felt low fares would not translate into more commuters besides resulting in huge losses for the already debt-ridden state bus service,” said the official.
An official at the LG’s office confirmed that the file had been sent back, denying to give more details.
The proposal was estimated to cost DTC nearly Rs 50 crore and was to be initially implemented for the month of January.
DTC has around 4,000 buses in its fleet and runs over 3,700 buses daily. Also, a committee had been set up to examine if the fare of the 8,000 RTVs running in the city could be subsidised by the government because the operators were afraid of a slump in business if DTC fares were slashed.
The concerned departments in the government recommended induction of more buses into the fleet before undertaking such an exercise, said the official.
DTC has around 35.37 lakh daily passengers.”Those travelling by two wheelers or cars are unlikely to shift to buses even with the fares being slashed if the frequency is not increased,” said an official.