Delhi govt proposes to make metro, bus travel free for women even as Delhi Metro, DTC continue to reel under losses

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said his government proposes to make metro and bus travel free for women in the national capital.

The proposal will be implemented within 2-3 months, he said. "Women will be given free rides in DTC, cluster buses and the Delhi Metro. The government will bear their travel expenses," Kejriwal said at a press conference.

For the remaining part of this financial year, the cost of this exercise will to Rs 700-800 crore, he said.

It is worth noting that both Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), the public bus service operator, and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) are loss-making entities.

The working losses of the DTC jumped to Rs 1750.37 crore for the financial report 2018-19, according to Delhi's Economic Survey. The DTC is incurring working losses and accordingly, the Delhi government is obliged to meet such losses by providing them financial assistance, the Survey report says.

The working loss of DTC was Rs 942.89 crore in 2013-14. Subsequently, it rose to Rs 1019.36 crore (2014-15), Rs 1250.14 crore (2015-16), Rs 1381.79 (2016-17), Rs 1730.02 crore(2017-18) and currently stands Rs 1750.37 crore in budgetary estimates of 2018-19, the survey said in February.

 Delhi govt proposes to make metro, bus travel free for women even as Delhi Metro, DTC continue to reel under losses

Representational image. PTI

During the financial year 2017-18, the total revenue generated by the DMTC was Rs 6,211.05 crore inclusive of income from traffic operations, real estate, consultancy, and external projects as against Rs 5,387.93 crore in the previous year. The total comprehensive loss of DMTC for the year was Rs 93.14 crore.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal said he has asked officials to study the proposal. The government has also sought feedback from the public.

Officers have been given a week to prepare a detailed report after which a proposal will be brought in the cabinet, Kejriwal said.

The proposed step will not lead to congestion in the Delhi Metro, as the daily ridership will increase by just one lakh. Currently, 25 lakh people travel by metro daily, he said.

Kejriwal also said that his government accords top priority to women's safety and has passed a tender to install 1.50 lakh CCTV cameras across the city.

"A survey for 70,000 CCTVs has been completed and these will be installed by December. A proposal for another 1.40 lakh cameras in under consideration," he said.

As many as 1.50 lakh CCTV cameras will be installed in government-run schools by November, Kejriwal added.

At a public meeting on Saturday, the chief minister said his government was considering to make metro and bus travel free for women in Delhi "to encourage them to use public transport".

His government is in touch with the city's power regulator to bring down fixed charge component of the electricity bill, Kejriwal added.

--With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Jun 03, 2019 15:33:48 IST