Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely told the Delhi Assembly on Friday that the Government would be urging the Fare Fixation Committee of the Delhi Metro railway to provide concession to senior citizens on the metro network.

Replying to a question during Question Hour, the Minister said while no concessions are given at present, the Government wants to offer concessional travel facility to senior citizens and would take up the matter with the Fare Fixation Committee.

To a question from Balram Tanwar of the Congress, he said as of now no concession is given to senior citizens, handicapped or students in metro fares. He also stated that the Government has no plans to come out with a plan for providing concessions.

The Minister also informed the House that the Fare Fixation Committee had also not recommended any concessions so far. However, when members demanded that at least concessions be provided to senior citizens, he said the Government would take up the matter with the panel.

Meanwhile, unlike on other days when Delhi Ministers offer few replies during Special Mention under Rule 280, on Friday they were much more forthcoming.

In response to BJP MLA Naresh Gaur's assertion that there was a lot of irregularity in release of MLA funds, Finance Minister A. K. Walia assured that he would look into the matter and get the delivery mechanism improved.

Dr. Walia also got up to reply to senior Congress MLA's charge that there was a lot of arbitrariness in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's conduct with respect to mobile phone towers. He assured that he would seek a report from the MCD Commissioner in the matter.

And when BJP MLA Ramesh Bidhuri pointed out that as per a Supreme Court order there should be no overflow of sewage on the roads but charged that in Okhla the situation was pathetic with the sewer flowing openly at several places, Dr. Walia stated that approval of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission had been received for using its funds for such purposes and the problem would be resolved soon.

During Special Mention, Women and Child Welfare Minister Kiran Walia responding to BJP legislator Kulwant Rana's statement on the state of juvenile homes said as per the Juvenile Justice Act, the guards at these homes were not supposed to keep any sticks or weapons. However, she said, following the escape of some inmates and their repeated involvement in crime, the matter was taken up with Juvenile Justice Committee and it has been decided to segregate those involved in heinous crimes.

Also speaking under Rule 280, Leader of Opposition V. K. Malhotra raised the issue of how a controversy had erupted over Hindi Academy awards. He insisted that the award should only go to people from Delhi. The Chief Minister said a committee had been constituted to look into various allegations but she was not in a position to discuss its findings openly. She, however, offered to share them with Prof. Malhotra separately.

Congress MLA Ramakant Goswami demanded that a statue of freedom fighter and educationist Madan Mohan Malviya be installed in Delhi.

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