New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today asked Chief Secretary M M Kutty to direct the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) to examine issues related to recent Delhi Metro fare hike and also assess whether it could have been avoided.

The increased metro fares come into effect yesterday.

In his note to Kutty, Kejriwal wrote, “The steep hike in metro fares has caused considerable distress to the people of Delhi. The hike could not have come at a worse time.” “The economy is in recession, medium and small scale businesses are facing losses and unemployment is soaring high,” the chief minister, who is also the chairman of the DDC, wrote.

Kejriwal also sought to know if the Delhi Metro was operating at its optimum capacity and whether the hike in fares is “justified”.

He said since the Delhi government is an equal partner in the DMRC, it is “deeply concerned” about the impact of the hike on common people.

Kejriwal asked Kutty to direct the DDC to find out if the hike could “have been substantially offset by efficiency improvements as well as real estate exploitation” and “if the representations of GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) were effectively present in its viewpoint in Committee/board.”

While allowing the DDC to examine officers of both DMRC and Delhi government for the matter, the chief minister said, “DDC may, therefore be directed to examine these and all other related matters.

“For this purpose, it may call for relevant records and meet with the concerned officers of the DMRC and GNCTD. It may also engage such experts and consultants as may be necessary to undertake the task,” he wrote in the note to Kutty.

The AAP government has been opposing the metro fare hike.

The party has launched “Metro kiraya Satyagraha” at several stations to protest against the increase in fares.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.