NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has came up with a new idea to introduce “biometric identification” system for students and senior citizens, which will enable discounted fares in the future. To prevent misuse discounts or rebates have not been recommended for the Delhi Metro.
On March 6, DMRC chief Mangu Singh said,” we were considering biometric identification technology to prepare the system for concessional. The proposal was devised after Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri pitched for rebates to students.”
“If a (smart) card is there, how will an AFC (automatic fare collection) gate know whether the commuter is a student or a senior citizen. When the minister was informed of this, he asked if there was a technological solution to this. And if the next FFC recommends such concessions, then technology should be able to take care of that,” he added.
“Yes, there is technology available now. We really do not know what exactly can be done but it is possible. Maybe biometric identification probably can work. We can have some nominated gates at every station where a person with the concessional card will pass through that gate only, and the gate will prove first his identity and only then allow.”
Fare Fixation Committees (FCC) considered the proposal of rebates but did not recommend it to prevent misuse as the existing system had no mechanism to differentiate between normal commuters and those in certain categories.
Singh emphasized that the corporation would certainly find out a solution before the next FFC recommended a concession to certain categories. “We can only make ourselves ready to tackle the recommendation technologically. Biometric is one, face recognition is another one,” he said. The Biometric system may lead to delays as matching would take time.
“It (biometric identification) is possible but you see there are certain difficulties in that. It (system) becomes slow. Today the entire fare collection system is not completely online. It is stored. If made online, it will become slow. Maybe there will be some advancement in technology. Even today this biometric attendance system takes time. It is mainly because it has to match your data and matching may take time. Unless a person is identified gate will not open,” he said.
Last year, DMRC increased fares twice – in May and October. The current fare structure is Rs 10 for up to 2 km, Rs 20 for 2 to 5 km, Rs 30 for 5 to 12 km, Rs 40 for 12 to 21 km, Rs 50 for 21 to 32 km and Rs 60 for journeys beyond 32 km.