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Metro justifies tariffs, but statistics say lower rates possible

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) Refuting criticism that it was charging high tariff rates, specially on short distances, the Delhi Metro today said the current tariff levels were quite low in comparison to cost of travelling in autorickshaws or four-wheelers.

Speaking at a press meet here to announce the launching of the extension of the Metro to Dwarka subcity from March 31, Director (Operations) of Metro, Mr Raj Kumar, said, ''The tariff rates are quite reasonable specially if one compares them with the cost of travelling by a four-wheeler or an auto.'' When it was pointed out that the ticket rates of Rs 6 and Rs 8 on shorter distances were higher than those charged by buses for the same distances, Mr Kumar said, ''We have to maintain tariff at a certain level to ensure that the revenues match the expenditure on operations. We do not want to depend on the government for the subsidy. Also, we have to pay back the huge loans taken from the Japan Bank of International Development.'' Notwithstanding the DMRC authorities justifying high costs of commuting on the Metro, on grounds of huge costs of construction of the Metro rail, statistics on the Metro extension inside Dwarka city reveal that proper planning of an area including the provision of the Metro rail in its Master Plan can lead to a drastic cut down in costs.

The Metro extension was completed in a record period of 22 months and at 25 per cent less cost per km than that spent on constructing stations on the other lines of the DMRC.

All this was made possible because the DDA had agreed to earmark a 30 m wide dedicated corridor for the Metro in the Master Plan for Dwarka.

According to the Director (P and P), Metro, C V K Rao, the construction work on the extension of the Metro to Dwarka was completed in a record time of 22 months, including setting up of all technical systems such as lifts, escalators, AFC, signalling etc.

''As a dedicated corridor had been earmarked, no displacement of buildings was required in the construction, unlike in the case of construction on the Line 3 of the Metro when there used to be large-scale shifting of utilities in areas like Uttam Nagar, Tilak Nagar and Rajouri Garden. With the project-affected people in the route being minimal, construction on the 6.5 Km extension was carried out at a fast pace,''Mr Rao told reporters here.

Experts said the construction work on the 6.5 km-long Dwarka extension cost Rs 430 crore, which is nearly 25 per cent less than the cost per km incurred on other lines of the Metro network.

All of which means that given proper planning it is possible to lower tariffs.

UNI AR LR BD1854

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