Delhi Metro fare hikes this year burn a hole in the pock­ets of Delhi-NCR stu­dents

HT City - - Front Page - Henna Rakheja

How much does it pinch if one has to pay `10 more per ride on Delhi Metro? The fare hike, which came into ef­fect on Tues­day, looks mod­er­ate at first glance. But for those Delhi col­lege-go­ers who take the Metro ev­ery­where, this is a pain.

The stu­dents we spoke to ask why the Delhi Metro can’t have stu­dent passes, just as DTC buses have. “It used to cost me `40 to com­mute from South Delhi to the North Cam­pus. After the two price hikes in Delhi Metro this year, I have to spend `100 on my daily travel. If the Metro fare in­creases every now and then in a year, then why not give stu­dent dis­counts? When col­lege-go­ers used to travel [more] by bus, there was a bus pass; so why can’t we have the same for Delhi Metro,” says Anisha Joneja, a stu­dent of In­draprastha Col­lege for Women, Delhi Univer­sity.

Some stu­dents want to know what they’re get­ting in re­turn for pay­ing more. Vanika Mal­ho­tra, who goes to Amity Univer­sity, Noida, from one part of East Delhi, points out the lack of clean toi­lets at Delhi Metro sta­tions. “If I get bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties, I don’t mind pay­ing,” says Vanika. “[But] even in an emer­gency, I don’t use Metro sta­tion wash­rooms; they are so un­hy­gienic!” She also dislikes the “poor crowd­man­age­ment” at peak hours.

The Delhi Metro has made it pos­si­ble for stu­dents to cut down on com­mute time. Now that they’re used to this, they can’t go back to sit­ting on a bus stuck in a jam. Samedha Arora, a stu­dent of Kalindi Col­lege, says, “We com­plain about hikes in prices of petrol and diesel, but it’s high time that we started de­bat­ing over Delhi Metro fare hikes. Most DU col­leges are linked via Metro — we can’t not take it. With the rise in fare, I think I’ll have to use up my pocket money for the can­teen. I can’t af­ford a cab or auto daily!”

Many coun­tries have dis­counted rates of Metro travel for stu­dents. Why is it that Delhi Metro doesn’t? RUS­TAM MAZUMDAR, STU­DENT, DELHI COL­LEGE OF ARTS & COM­MERCE


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