The Delhi Metro on Wednesday termed as “misleading” a report by a green body which claimed DMRC is the second most unaffordable metro system in the world in terms of percentage of income spent for using it.
The DMRC rubbished a report from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) which also claimed the Delhi Metro has received nearly 32 per cent less than the number of daily passengers it had hoped to serve this year, saying its earlier projection included Phase-3, which has not become operational as yet.
However, Anumita Roy Chowdhury, the Executive Director of the research and advocacy group, clarified that they were talking about the overall picture of the transport system in the report.
“Our public transport system is not functioning optimally and there needs to be a strategy to increase the ridership so that people’s dependence on their personal vehicle reduces,” she said, adding that they took other cities into consideration too.
The CSE in a report on Tuesday said it has found that after the fare hike last year, Delhi metro has become the second-most unaffordable service in the world among the cities that charge less than half a US dollar for a trip.
Of nine metropolitan cities across the world where the cost for a 10-km trip is less than half-a-US dollar, the Delhi Metro remains the second-most unaffordable system in terms of percentage of income spent for using it,” the CSE study said.
As per the calculation, the study says that commuters in Delhi spend about 14 per cent of their income on Metro rides that is lower only to 25 per cent spent by commuters in Hanoi.
Delhi Metro has called the study “misleading and not based on facts and data”.
“This study is conveniently comparing DMRC with very selected metros across the world. Why don’t you compare with big metros,” said DMRC MD Mangu Singh.
The other cities considered in the report were – Buenos Aires, Cairo, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kiev, Manila, Mexico City, Mumbai and New Delhi
“Metros like Jakarta do not exist yet, it will come into operation in January 2019. So how could there be comparison with a metro that isn’t operational,” Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh said that there are other metros within the country, like Lucknow, Chennai and Kochi, which have higher fares than Delhi Metro, so how can it be second most unaffordable metro in the world.
He also rubbished the CSE’s claim that Delhi Metro has received nearly 32 per cent less than the number of daily passengers it had hoped to serve this year, saying its earlier projection included phase 3 which has not become operational yet.
“It is seen from the Report that ridership of DMRC is 27 lakhs as against project ridership of 39 lakhs. The 39.5 lakhs ridership is projected after completion of Phase -3. The Phase -3 is yet to be fully made operational and stabilized. Therefore, any such comparison at this stage, is only misleading and unrealistic,” said Mr Singh.
Secondly, the report claims that 22 per cent of the commuter’s income is going for transportation for the lower income group. That is also an extreme case, he said.
“As per our exact figure, a total of Rs 268.84 crore was the actual fare earned in July and the total number of passengers who travelled on the metro were 7.79 crore. So the revenue per trip comes to Rs 34.50. His expenditure will Rs 1,518 per month and average per capita income in Delhi is Rs 27,424, according to economic survey done by Delhi govt,” the DMRC chief said.
So based on these calculations, 5.53 per cent and not 22 per cent of income of a commuter is spent while travelling on metro, Mr Singh said.
Giving figures, the DMRC said the minimum fare of travelling in Delhi metro is Rs 10 while maximum fare is Rs 60. On the other hand, the minimum fare in London tube is Rs 450 while maximum fare is Rs 551 and minimum fare in Singapore metro is Rs 40 while maximum fare is Rs 105 per journey.
“The report has conveniently ignored the various benefits of Delhi Metro to the city in terms of reduction in green house emission, air pollution, number of accidents on roads, reduction in congestions on roads, etc., he said.
As per United Nation’s Frame work on Climate Change Standards, DMRC is contributing to reduction in 2.215 million tonnes per year of emissions of greenhouse gasses (CO2 equivalent) to the atmosphere. All the benefits has been acknowledged and documented by various national and international agencies, he added.