Days after writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticizing Delhi government’s proposal of free travel for women, ‘Metro Man' E Sreedharan has written a letter to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia asking him ‘not destroy’ the efficient and successful public transport system for electoral gains.
In a letter to Sisodia, the former DMRC chief also said free travel will "worsen overcrowding" and "lead to mishaps".
His letter to Sisodia, dated June 20, comes days after the deputy chief minister wrote to the former, expressing "surprise" over his opposition to the AAP government's scheme.
"I am not opposing Delhi government's proposal to bear the cost of free travel for women but objecting only to the concept of free travel in a metro. If we allow free travel for women, what about more deserving categories such as students, disabled persons and senior citizens?" he said in the letter.
Sreedharan, who is also the principal adviser to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), said: "no metro" in the world has extended free travel facility to women exclusively.
He wrote that any compensation paid to DMRC by the Delhi government, is tax-payers' money and a tax payer has the right to question why only women are being given free travel.
"Everybody knows this is an election gimmick to win votes of women in the next Assembly election," Sreedharan alleged in the letter.
"My objection is to the very idea of allowing free travel to any section of the society, till such time loans taken by the DMRC (now outstanding about Rs 35,000 crore) is serviced and paid back," the letter reads.
"I would, therefore appeal to your government not to destroy an efficient and successful public transport system such as Delhi Metro for electoral gains," Sreedharan said.
Sisodia in his letter to the former DMRC chief had asked him to reconsider his stand and "bless" the AAP dispensation to go ahead with this progressive step.
Prior to that, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him not to agree to the proposal as it would set "an alarming precedence".
Sreedharan said that when the first section of the Delhi Metro was to be opened in 2002, he had taken a firm decision that no one would be given travel concession.
Even the then prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee had bought a ticket himself to travel to the station from where the metro's first section was inaugurated, he said.
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