A day before Diwali, when crowds thronged some Delhi Metro stations, they were in for a shock. There were hand-written sheets pasted on glass panes announcing a minimum add value charge of Rs 200 per smart card.
Many families, migrant workers and students going home for Diwali were caught unaware and were seen either queuing up for tokens or arguing with Metro staff, who themselves seemed a harried lot.
At Malviya Nagar station, a family travelling to a nearby State was seen appealing that recharging three smart cards would drain them of Rs 600 in one go.
“It is not easy for people like me to shell out Rs 200 at one go. As it is, the Metro authorities did not give prior notice, so I do not have that much cash to spare,” said a student, who had to catch a train for her home town.
Delhi Metro recently hiked the minimum recharge amount from Rs 50 to Rs 100, which itself is a problem for commuters, such as domestic workers, daily wagers and migrant students, who eke out their daily existence on shoe-string budgets. More info