The central government will soon announce concession in Delhi Metro fares for students and senior citizens as a technology-based solution has been found to implement the same, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday.
In an interview to PTI, the Union housing and urban affairs minister said that the relief can also be extended to passengers of other categories, but it would be need-based.
Currently, no discount on fares is offered for any category of passengers on the Delhi Metro.
"We are ready with a technology-based solution to provide relief to students and senior citizens travelling on metro trains. The central government will implement it appropriately," Hardeep Singh Puri said.
In June this year, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced free-travel for women in Delhi Metro and buses in the national capital.
Hardeep Singh Puri said he was not against free-travel for women in metro trains but this should be need-based.
"Our scheme will also cover most girl students and female senior citizens. We want to implement it through the technology-based solution so that there is no misuse of the facility," he said.
A technology-based solution will assure that benefits reach the targeted group and is not misused, Hardeep Singh Puri said.
According to the Union minister, the central government will extend the relief to passengers of other categories after public consultation.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had announced fare-hike in two phases in 2017 after a gap of nine years.
Countering the claim that metro ridership has dipped since the fare hike, Hardeep Singh Puri said the footfall has rather "trebled".
"The ridership was 24-25 lakh then (before fare hike) but it has trebled since then. It is around 60 lakh now and going up by the day," he said.
The DMRC is a 50:50 joint venture between the centre and the Delhi government. Its fare is revised on the recommendation of a fare-fixation committee.