#Resist_Metro_Fare_Hike. #DMRC GHERAO"
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20th February 2018 1:00 PM
DMRC Headquarters, Metro Bhawan, Barakhamba Road
All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), Delhi
You all know that last year there has been a steep two-phased increase in the Delhi metro fares. Both of these phases led to unprecedented increase in fares, which is more than double. This move of DMRC negates the very purpose of setting up the metro rail service, which was to provide cheap, fast and environment friendly public transport to people. This unjust fare hike has put a huge burden on lakhs of commuters across Delhi. Among them the worst hit is the students’ community.
We know that students do not have any earning and have to rely upon their parents for pursuing education. Already due to the policy of privatization and commercialization of education, the cost of education is skyrocketing and now the fare hike will add to their miserable condition. Along with that, outstation students have to pay huge amount for their food and room rent. Such steep fare hike will break the economic backbone of larger section of students and even a situation might arise that many may opt out of higher education. This in fact amounts to snatching their right to education. From the point of view of the safety of the girl students also metro travel is a safer mode of transport which should be encouraged by the government. But the fare hike will push them to travel by buses or adopt other modes of transport which apart from being time consuming is risky also. The 4th Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) has also recommended automatic annual increase in the fares.
DMRC was commissioned in 2002, promising clean, fast and cheapest mode of transport for the common man in Delhi. During the initial years, the DMRC Chief Shri E. Sridharan announced an operational profit of Rs. 2 crores per day. The excuse put forward by DMRC now that it is incurring a loss of Rs.3000/- crores is hardly acceptable in the light of the facts that 1) the DMRC has resorted to reduction of staff by promoting the use of smart cards, digitalization, offloading jobs to contractual agencies with meager payments, resulting in extensive savings to the corporation; 2) it is earning fabulous amounts through various modes of advertisements; 3) it earns huge amounts through rentals of metro station spaces to shops, shopping malls etc. and 4)It has already resorted to three fare hikes prior to the recent two-phased increase. There is an urgent need to look into the claims of the DMRC that it is incurring losses, a responsibility that can be entrusted to the CAG of India.
Instead of ensuring basic facilities like education, health, employment, transport, clean drinking water etc. to the common man, we see the Central Government doling away about Rs. 9.5 trillion, declared as bad loans by the banks, to the monopoly houses and big industrial houses; providing them cheap transport facilities by reducing the air travel fares and constructing bullet train tracks. While on the other hand, it is fleecing the poor by making the railway and metro train travel very costly for them. The burden of the crisis-ridden capitalist system is continuously being shifted by the Modi Government to the already overburdened toiling people. This Metro fare- hike is one of such economic assaults. Simultaneously, in order to divert the people’s attention from the issues concerning their lives, the BJP-RSS combine is raking up ethnic, communal, parochial passions and unscientific ideas which are totally irrelevant today. This is the real face of Modiji ‘Achche Din’!
What is required is to break our silence and resist such anti-people moves. Shall we remain mute spectators to the steep fare hike in the second phase which has led to fall in the daily metro- ridership by more than 3 lakh people? Apart from the extreme hardship and wastage of time faced by people, experts believe that adoption of other modes of transport by three lakh people from 10th October, 2017 has led to higher levels of pollution this winter. We consider this to be a criminal act on the part of both the governments of Delhi and the central government against which we should raise our voice. We demand immediate roll back of increased metro fares, issue of Concessional passes for students. being a public utility service, we also demand that the accounts of the DMRC should be audited by the CAG.
We urge upon the students and the common people of Delhi to build up protracted militant movement against the Metro fare-hike and appeal all to join in numbers on the call of “DMRC GHERAO” on 20th Feb 2018, at DMRC Headquarters at 1 PM. Experience has taught that only powerful united people’s movement can force the Government to withdraw the fare hike.
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