The Centre has said that it has not received any proposal from the Delhi government for free Delhi Metro rides for women. The AAP-led Delhi government announced recently that they would make Delhi Metro and DTC bus travel free for women in the national capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the proposal would be implemented within 2-3 months. The announcement is significant as it comes ahead of the Delhi elections scheduled for early next year.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Centre does not have any proposal for free rides for women in Delhi Metro.
He also replied that the Delhi government has sent no such proposal to the Union Government for approval.
Earlier too, the minister had slammed Kejriwal's proposal and called it a "jumla". "Mr Kejriwal has confused people because this is not how you give schemes. Central govt needs to be on board. DMRC didn't get any proposal from the Delhi govt. Delhi govt already is running out of funds, they are in debt. I don't know how Kejriwal is planning to give metro rides for free," said the minister.
"Women will be given free rides in DTC, cluster buses and the Delhi Metro. The government will bear their travel expenses," Kejriwal had said at a press conference. For the remaining part of this financial year, the cost of this comes to Rs 700-800 crore, he said. Kejriwal said he had asked officials to study the proposal.
Kejriwal also said that his government accords top priority to women safety and has passed a tender to install 1.50 lakh CCTV cameras across the city. "A survey for 70,000 CCTVs has been completed and these will be installed by December. A proposal for another 1.40 lakh cameras is under consideration," he said. As many as 1.50 lakh CCTV cameras will be installed in government-run schools by November, Kejriwal added.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya; with PTI inputs)