Delhi has been notorious in case of criminal activities, and women travelling alone after sunset is still a fright in the capital. So, to make women’s travel safer, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal introduced free travel on public transport. The announcement came a few days after Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was wiped out losing all seven Parliamentary seats to ruling party in the centre BJP.
The decision though needs to be ratified by the central government and will be launched in three months’ time which cost the Delhi government Rs 700 crore. It is because of Delhi’s partial statehood that the government will need a clearance from the centre. The Kejriwal government has already instructed the officers to prepare a detailed report based on which a proposal would be brought in the cabinet. The Delhi Metro is also partially administered by the Central government.
“Those who want to buy tickets are free to do so, they need not take the subsidy. Several women can afford these modes of transport. Those who can afford it, can buy tickets and forgo subsidy so others could benefit,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The Chief Minister promised that the government would take care of women’s free rides on Metro and public buses. “Delhi is the only government that is honest and is spending your money on facilities and is still running on profit…Right now our concern is the safety of women. There are questions regarding the metro, but we will let you know how the proposal evolves at every step,” Mr Kejriwal added.
Meanwhile, the CM also informed that he has contacted the city’s power regulator to reduce the fixed charge component in the electricity bills.
However, the moves didn’t seem to impress the BJP, who almost ridiculed it. “Now such announcements will keep coming from the ghoshna mantra (announcement chief minister). Arvind Kejriwal has lost his mental balance,” Delhi BJP chief and Member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari was quoted as saying by NDTV.
It may be recalled that AAP couldn’t stop the BJP sweep in Delhi in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections. BJP won all seven seats in the state which will go for Assembly Polls next year. Kejriwal has been in charge since 2015.