After losing the Lok Sabha elections badly, the Aam Aadmi Party seems to have taken a break from attacking BJP and PM Modi, and gone back to populism. In an effort to repeat its electoral success in 2915 on the back of promises of free power and water, the Delhi government today announced free travel for women in the city-state.
Addressing media, Delhi chime minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that women be allowed to travel free of cost in all DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses, Cluster buses and metro trains in Delhi. He said that this has been to ensure that women can have safe travel experience, and access mores of transport which they were not able to do so due to high prices.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal: On all DTC buses, cluster buses and metro trains women will be allowed to travel free of cost so that they have a safe travel experience and can access modes of transport which they were not able to, due to high prices. pic.twitter.com/KVqEWDIJAS
— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2019
Arvind Kejriwal added no subsidy will be imposed on anyone for this scheme, and added that those women who can afford to pay, they can purchase the tickets. Taking a leaf out of PM Modi’s give it up scheme for LPG subsidies, he said that Delhi govt will encourage those who can afford to not avail this scheme so that others can benefit.
Delhi CM: Initially we’d told Centre not to increase prices of tickets, they didn’t agree. We told them we’ve 50-50 partnership, let’s give 50-50 subsidy on raised prices, they didn’t agree. Delhi govt will bear the fare of what we’re going to do.We needn’t take approval for this pic.twitter.com/4nlPbkUf9k
— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2019
The Delhi CM that they will not require to take approval from anyone to implement this scheme. He said that Delhi govt will bear the cost of the subsidy, as the centre didn’t agree to his proposal to not increase prices of metro tickets, or to give 50% subsidy on raised ticket prices. The Delhi Metro Corporation is jointly owned by Union Government and Delhi Government with 50% share each. As Delhi govt is paying the subsidy, it will not permission from others for the scheme, Kejriwal claimed.
Although Arvind Kejriwal announced the scheme, he did not reveal the modalities of the same, how it will be implemented. As it is a segregated scheme targeted only towards women, and Delhi govt will be paying subsidies to the respective transport operators for women travelling on their services for free, it will require a dedicated infrastructure and system. The number of women travelling free will need to be documented, and it has to be ensured that the operators are not inflating the numbers. Also, some sort of system will be required to ensure that only genuine women avail this subsidy. It is not clear whether the Delhi govt will appoint dedicated manpower for these purposes.
The Delhi CM said that he has given one week time to officials to prepare a detailed proposal for both DTC and Metro. He said that the government is aiming to start this scheme within 2-3 months.