Eager to soften the impact of the bus fare hike, the Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed its decision and decided to extend the journey for the first slab from 3 km to 4 km. And to reduce the impact of the fare hike on the poor, it has decided to offer the monthly bus pass to all below poverty line (BPL) passengers at Rs.500 instead of Rs.800 for the general category.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Cabinet has decided to provide relief to short distance commuters. She said now passengers would be able to travel up to 4 km on the Rs.5 ticket in non-air-conditioned buses. For journey between 4 km and 10 km, they would have to shell out Rs.10.

However, to ensure that the bus fare hike does not affect the poor, the Delhi Cabinet has decided to subsidise the monthly bus pass for BPL passengers. Family members of those residents who are in possession of requisite BPL certification as approved by the competent authority in the Food and Civil Supply Department of the Delhi Government would be granted relief in their monthly DTC passes, which would now only cost Rs.500 as against Rs.800 earlier.

Stating that the new rates would come into force after issue of necessary notification, the Chief Minister said the BPL families who commute by buses and those belonging to the labour class would benefit the most from the scheme.

Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said through the decisions, two important aspects have been addressed. “While we have met the demand for allowing longer travel in the first slab of Rs.5, the BPL scheme would benefit nearly 3 lakh such families or about 15 lakh individuals in Delhi.’’

Stating that subsidising the travel of the poor was a very important decision, Mr. Lovely said the BPL bus pass would result in a saving of Rs.300 for every travelling member of such a family.

The Delhi Cabinet also approved the setting up of Business Facilitation Council in the Industries Department to promote industrial development by facilitating entrepreneurs obtain a number of clearances from various departments and agencies for setting up of industrial enterprises.

The Council, which would provide a single window system for availing of government services with greater transparency, accuracy and speed, would be headed by the Secretary and while Commissioner of Industries Department and its Joint Commissioner in-charge of BFC cell would be its Member Secretary.

More In: Delhi