NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): On Sunday Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the plan to offer free Metro rides to women is “taking time”.
Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference, Kejriwal said that the proposal is still on the cards, but rolling it out will take a while.
The chief minister’s comment came two days after the Supreme Court observed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi should refrain from giving “freebies” from “public money”, referring to its free Metro ride proposal, as such initiatives did not go hand-in-glove with claims of the network potentially suffering losses.
When asked about the SC’s observation, Kejriwal on Sunday, he said, “I will have to read the order. We will have to examine the order. I will be able to comment only after that.
On the proposal to offer free Metro rides to women, the chief minister said the Delhi government is still working on it.
Kejriwal said that It is taking time and I have already announced that free rides in buses will be rolled out from October 28. As for the Metro, we will update you all as and when there is any progress.
The proposal was stuck because the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was yet to appoint the directors nominated by the Delhi government to its board. “We are awaiting a board meeting with the DMRC on the issue at the earliest. But for that, there has to be a clear decision on the board members first. Once that happens, the agenda on free rides for women in the Metro will be tabled, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Saturday.
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The proposal for free rides for women, announced by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in June, has also been halted.
Senior officials in the DMRC said they had raised several red flags and are awaiting another report from the government, following which the proposal is likely to be sent to a fare fixation committee.
In the Delhi Assembly last month, the government had allocated ₹150 crore for the scheme. The government argued that if the scheme gets clearance before the end of the financial year, its implementation should not be delayed for lack of funds.
The scheme on free rides for women in Delhi buses is set to take off from October 29 this year.