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Over 3.20L women issued pink tickets under free-ride scheme

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 30, 2019  | 23:11 IST

(Eds: With additional details) New Delhi, Oct 30 (PTI) Under the Delhi government's free travel scheme for women in public buses, over 3.20 lakh female commuters were issued pink tickets in the morning shift of eight hours on Wednesday. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took a ride on a public bus and claimed that women were happy with his government's scheme. The women passengers who availed the benefit of the scheme and were issued pink tickets (single journey passes) comprised nearly 29 per cent of the total 1107949 ticketed passengers in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses, said a government official. The free ride scheme launched on the occasion of Bhai Dooj was availed by over 4.77 lakh female commuters of DTC buses on Tuesday, Kejriwal said. The number of total ticketed passengers who travelled in DTC buses in the morning shift, 6 am to 2 pm, was over 7.44 lakh out of which over 2.84 lakh women commuters were issued pink tickets, said a DTC official. In case of cluster buses run by Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS), the total number of passengers were 3.63 lakh out of which 72105 females were given pink tickets. Each pink ticket has a face value of Rs 10 and is issued by a conductor under the scheme. The free-ride scheme is optional and a woman may also buy tickets if she so likes. Kejriwal, who travelled on DTC and cluster buses to get feedback of women commuters, said "all my sisters in Delhi are now VIPs. Earlier only politicians would get to travel free." The chief minister boarded bus number 85 from the Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO, towards Anand Vihar Bus terminal. He then got off at the Nirman Vihar Metro bus stop and boarded the bus number 720 towards Shahdara terminal. He made two subsequent stops at Jagatpuri and then toward Azad Nagar. Between the rides, he waited for the next bus to arrive with fellow riders and was swarmed by bystanders for selfies. After his bus journey, Kejriwal in response to a tweet, said, "I boarded a few buses just now to get direct feedback from women. In addition to students, working women, women going for shopping, I also met a few who have to visit doc (doctor) regularly." "They are also v (very) happy," Kejriwal said, in response to a tweet. In another tweet, the chief minister said the presence of bus marshals deployed by the Aam Aadmi Party government was creating a sense of safety among women passengers and "fear amongst eve-teasers." The newly-deployed bus marshals with bright red bands on their arms were also present on all the buses. Every bus had two signs on panels at the top, with one of them informing women travellers about the free bus ride scheme and the other about the bus marshals. According to an official statement released by the government, the chief minister also interacted with the bus marshals and asked them to put in their best efforts towards protecting all women passengers from harassment on the bus. On the same day as the launch of the free rides scheme, 13,000 bus marshals were deployed in all buses of Delhi in all shifts, statement quoted Kejriwal as saying. The opposition BJP and Congress have termed the free-ride scheme as an election stunt by the ruling AAP in view of assembly polls due early next year. Responding to criticism, Kejriwal said, "Whenever we have taken such good steps, the opposition has criticised us. When we made 200 units of power free also they had attacked us. "Good work should be supported by everybody," he said. Kejriwal also said that if this is an election stunt, instead of opposing it, why don't they take such steps where they have elections coming up. Let them do it in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Goa where they are in power before criticising us, the chief minister said. PTI VIT BUN VIT ANB ANB

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