Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday defended increasing the fare for Delhi metro rides, and said it was long overdue, reported PTI. He said the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation could suffer a financial crunch similar to the Delhi Transport Corporation’s if the fare revision is delayed.

“There has been no increase in fares for the past eight years,” said Puri, according to PTI. “You tell me how would we run the Metro otherwise? One way could be that we let it go the way the DTC has. We all know how it is struggling to stay afloat.”

Fares on the Capital’s metro transit system are due to be revised a second time this year from October 10. They were last revised in May.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has said the new rates in October will be the second phase of the same revision plan that was implemented in May. Under the new slabs, fares will range between Rs 10 and Rs 60. The fare revision in October will be less steep than the one in May, when the DMRC had increased the minimum fare from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50. They also said even if metro fares in the Capital are increased, the prices will still be the lowest in India.

Before May, the last revision to the fare structure was made in 2009.

The metro service runs under an equal equity partnership between the Delhi government and the Centre.

Kejriwal opposes fare hike

Union minister Puri’s comments come after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had called the fare revision an “anti-people” move and said that he would not let the city’s metro travel fares to be revised twice in a year. He had asked Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot to find a way to block it.

The Chief Minister’s Office on Monday reiterated its stance that increasing the fare would be a violation of law, India Today reported. Kejriwal has earlier cited a Fare Fixation Committee’s earlier recommendation that said there should be at least a year’s gap before increasing the fares.