The conductors said that they have not received any formal order to slash the fares.
New Delhi: The city government’s decision to slash the fares of the Delhi Transport Corporation and cluster buses significantly could not take off from January 1, resulting in heated exchange between the conductors and passengers on Monday. The conductors said that they have not received any formal order to slash the fares. The government has said that the procedure to decrease fares is underway and the reduced fares will come into effect soon.
At present, the government is seeking comments from various departments after which the file proposing the fare reduction will go to lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal for approval. The entire process is likely to take over a week.
Transport minister Satyendar Jain had on December 21 announced that the government will slash bus fares by 75 per cent and make travel free for students aged 21 or below to discourage people from using private vehicles. The decision was taken on December 15 during a meeting on abatement of pollution with the then L-G Najeeb Jung. It was decided to slash fares for two months, but the Delhi government later announced the plan for only a month.
For the whole of January, the government had planned a flat fare of `5 in non-AC Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses and `10 for air-conditioned buses. At present, a ride in a non-AC bus can cost anywhere between `5 and `15.
The AC buses charge fares between `10 and `25. The government will also give free travel passes to students (below the age of 21), widows and senior citizens.
It is also offering a permanent discount of 75 per cent on travel passes to women and those belonging to the economically weaker section. They can get a monthly pass for `250, which currently costs `800 for non-AC buses and `1,000 for AC buses.
Presently, DTC has 4,121 buses while there are around 1,500 cluster buses (orange). It carried 43.47 lakh passengers per day in 2013-14, which reduced to 38.87 lakh per day in 2014-15. The number further dwindled to to 35 lakh in 2015-16.
Reacting to the development, leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta said that the government’s failure to reduce DTC fares from January 1 proves its inefficiency and incapability to implement even simple administrative decisions in time.
Mr Gupta claimed that LG had directed Delhi government on December 16 to reduce DTC fare to reduce pollution levels in the city. “It was assured by the Government that the reduction will be implemented from the new years. But despite a lapse if more than a fortnight, it has failed to give concrete shape to the decision. And the matter is still pending with different departments,” added Mr Gupta.