Free Delhi Metro, bus rides for women: No proposal received, says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Women click selfies during a Delhi Metro ride. File

Women click selfies during a Delhi Metro ride. File

The Delhi government had not sent any proposal for giving free Metro rides to women to the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) or the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation so far, Union Minister of State (Independent charge) MoHUA Hardeep Puri said on Thursday.

Earlier this week on Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that his government had proposed to make travel for women free in public transport buses and metro trains.

Mr. Puri was speaking to reporters after launching the Ministry’s sanitation ranking league for cities, Swachh Survekshan League 2020, when he was asked about the AAP government’s announcement.

“There are two types of syndromes — one is broken window economics and the other is broken window fraud. To give ticket-less travel or free travel to anyone in a bus, first you need to have a bus. First, you must ask, have 11,000 buses been sanctioned? How many are there now,” he asked, referring to the number of buses operated by the Delhi government vis-a-vis the required 11,000.

Discounted fares

The Minister added that he had said in Parliament that he wanted to provide special discounted fares to senior citizens and students for metro travel and that the DMRC was preparing technology for the same.

“With Mr. Kejriwal, I have a healthy ongoing debate. He has a ₹50,000-crore budget. The budget is not being spent on sanitation, Ayushman Bharat etc. But, he wants to give a ₹1,200 crore or ₹2,000-crore subsidy. There should be a debate on this. The BJP, we are all for women. But schemes are not made like this, that first you announce and then make the proposal. We have not received any proposal, nor has the DMRC,” he said.

Calls them disruptionists

Continuing his attack on the AAP government, when asked about the pace of public toilet construction in Delhi, Mr. Puri said, “Delhi is a sui generis [of its own kind] case. We will sort out Delhi’s problem. This phenomena is there only for another six months. I have no doubt. These are people who came in at number three. They are disruptionists.”

Mr. Puri was referring to the Delhi Assembly elections, which are expected early 2020, and the Lok Sabha election, in which AAP was at third place in the majority of Delhi’s seven seats. He said he had written several letters to the Delhi government about various projects, but the AAP dispensation had not used the funds allocated in time.

“Arvind Kejriwal has a problem of a different kind. He will take out a full page advertisement saying something is starting in two or three months, but the proposal has not even been made,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 4:23:03 pm |