The Delhi government’s proposal to make Metro and bus travel free for women came under fire from the BJP, with Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta calling it an election gimmick.
The announcement was made by CM Arvind Kejriwal during a public meeting at Kali Bari Saturday. “We are about to make an announcement soon, but I will share a part of it with you. We are working on a proposal to make Metro and bus rides free for women. This will encourage them to use public transport and ensure their safety,” he said.
Hitting out at the move, Gupta said: “The transport minister’s assertion that it will take six months to implement the proposal… underlines the fact that it is no more than an election gimmick. Kejriwal knows that by the end of six months, the Model Code of Conduct will come in force in Delhi in view of the Assembly elections. It cannot be overlooked that Kejriwal had put obstacles in the implementation of Metro Phase IV and failed to buy even a single DTC bus during his tenure.”
DPCC chief Sheila Dikshit said, “Kejriwal is the CM; let him decide what he wants to do.”
Senior officials said Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot met DMRC and DTC officials to discuss the proposal. However, no decision has been taken yet. “The matter was discussed in the presence of the DMRC MD and DTC officials. It is still at the preliminary stage. Technical and financial implications will have to be examined. If things work out, then a proposal in this regard will be brought to the Cabinet,” Gahlot said.
“This is a policy matter… for buses, it is not an issue. We have implemented such waivers on several occasions, such as Rakshabandhan and Bhai Dooj. It can be done now as well, only if somebody is ready to take the burden,” said C K Goyal, assistant vice-president, DIMTS, which has been appointed as a consultant for procuring 1,000 low floor e-buses.