Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that DTC buses and the Delhi Metro will be free for women in the national capital. Kejriwal said the Delhi government would bear the expense, which would approximately be Rs 1,600 crore for the year. The decision has been taken keeping the safety of women in mind, he added.
"The safety of women is the most important for the AAP government. Keeping in mind the safety of women, the government has decided that in Delhi all Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses and the Delhi Metro will be free for women so that maximum number of women can use public transport. Public transport is said to be safest for women. Due to the increase in metro prices, they are not being able to use these services," Kejriwal said while addressing a press conference.
Kejriwal emphasised that the Delhi government would not need permission from the centre. "We don't need the Centre's permission for this. The Delhi government will bear the cost. The cost for the remaining six months will be ?700-800 crore," Kejriwal added.
Kejriwal said it would take about three months for the rollout of the scheme. "Women who can afford it can continue to buy tickets. I have given officers one week's time to come up with a detailed proposal. Our aim is to implement this in two-three months. We want suggestions from the public on how we can best implement this," Kejriwal said.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot has conducted a meeting with the senior officials of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to discuss the plan. Gehlot asked the officials of DMRC to submit a proposal and to look into the technicalities of the plan regarding free travel for women.
Earlier, Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM of Delhi, had said that "AAP government could reduce Metro fares by 25-30 percent if it is given full control over Delhi Metro Rail Corporation".
(Edited by: Nehal Solanki)