Delhi Metro is a first class asset and the most affordable Metro anywhere in the world, says Hardeep Singh Puri.
New Delhi: A day after Arvind Kejriwal expressed his sadness over Delhi Metro becoming out of reach for the common man, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday that the Delhi chief minister should instead look at the state of the public transport system that comes under his government and lacks 7,000 buses.
Addressing the 13th Sustainability Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr Puri said that Delhi has the fourth largest Metro system in the world. It is a first class asset and the most affordable Metro anywhere in the world.
“My good friend — the chief minister of Delhi — was expressing sadness that so many people have moved away from the Metro. The report has been produced by people who are reasonably credible. However, they have an agenda where they are not comparing an orange with an orange. What they ended up doing was completely falsifying the facts,” he said.
A recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) 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.
Reacting to the study on Wednesday, Mr Kejriwal said it is “very sad” that an important means of transport has become out of the reach of the common man.
Taking a further dig at Mr Kejriwal, Mr Puri said the ridership at any point of time before the hike was 27 lakh and now it has crossed 29 lakh. The study done in 2016, which said the ridership would increase to 32 lakh, took into consideration Delhi Metro’s Phase-3 that has not become operational as of yet, he added.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Wednesday had termed as “misleading” the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) report which also claimed the Delhi Metro 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.
Mr Puri also said the India’s development trajectory will be “green” and in consonance with the ethos of the 2030 development agenda.