Eyeing Assembly Elections, which are due early next year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced free DTC bus rides for women in the capital city. The chief minister said that it’s a gift to all the women on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
“On the day of Raksha Bandhan, I want to give a gift to our sisters that there will be free rides for women on all DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) and cluster buses from October 29, which will ensure their safety,” Kejriwal said during his Independence Day speech at Chhatrasal Stadium on Thursday.
Earlier in June, Arvind Kejriwal-led-Delhi Government had proposed scheme for free metro travel for women in the city. The scheme was estimated to cost the government approximately Rs 1,600 crore.
However, the proposal was rejected by the Centre.
Addressing a press conference on June 2, Kejriwal said, "The safety of women is the most important thing for the AAP government. Keeping this in mind, the government has decided that in Delhi all Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses and the Metro will be free for women so that the maximum number of women can use public transport. This is said to be the safest for women. They are not able to use these services also because of the increase in Metro fares".
"We don't need the centre's permission for this. The Delhi government will bear the cost of this. The cost for the remaining six months will be â¹700-800 crore," he added.
The Delhi government has been working on a voluntary model for the scheme, where travellers can opt out of the subsidy. However, officials of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC), which is a joint venture between the state and central governments, did not comment on the development.