By Prarthana Mitra
According to a recent study conducted by the Centre of Science and Environment, Delhi Metro which transports thousands across the national capital daily is touted as the second most unaffordable transit system in the world. This report comes after the year-old fare-hike due to increase in tariffs, for one of the most popular modes of public transport in the NCR region.
Here’s what the study said
The study takes the household income of an average commuter into account, and sources relevant figures from the UBS 2018 report on Price and Earning.
According to the findings, 13% of commuters (from the middle-income group) spend 14-14.5% of their household income on travelling via Delhi Metro, slightly less than those availing the Metro in Hanoi, Vietnam. Unskilled daily wage labourers earning Rs 534 daily have to spend 22 percent on Delhi Metro, the report further added.
“If this spending were to be around 3-4 percent (as it is in Singapore), the person could save up to Rs 60 per day. This could mean around 1.5 to 2 litres of milk every day for the family. A month of these savings could mean life insurance for a year for a family of four for a year for Rs 2 lakh each under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) scheme,” the CSE report noted.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) noted a drop in footfall from the projected 39.5 lakh riders in 2018 to 27 lakh since the dual-phased hike in ticket prices, implemented by the Delhi Metro last year. According to Business Today, the Delhi Metro has reportedly seen a fall of 32 percent in daily passengers than it had expected this year.
At a conclave on ‘Towards Clean and Low Carbon Mobility’, Anumita Roy Chowdhury of the CSE asked if DMRC’s strategy to meet future costs, repay loans and raise money for other fixed costs, by increasing travel expenditure for civillians, was justifiable. She also drew attention to the environmental implications, always a sore point for Delhi, as people are shifting to personal modes of transport following the fare-hike.
According to Mirror Now, Delhi Transport commissioner Varsha Joshi responded, arguing that it was, since no increase in fares will lead to quality failure. The DMRC also called the study ‘selective’ and said that it only compares smaller Metro networks around the world.
The study compared nine metropolises of the world with operational Metro systems and where the cost of a 10-km trip is less than half a dollar. Commenting on the report, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “As CM of Delhi, I feel very sad that such an important means of transport has become out of reach of common man.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius
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