NEW DELHI: The first day of free travel in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses across the national capital for women was met with much fervour and enthusiasm. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s gift for the women of the city on Bhai Dooj turned out to be a day of “excitement” and “gratitude” for the latter.
Tara Devi, in her late 50s, commutes from North East Delhi’s Sangam Vihar to south Delhi for work every day. For her, Tuesday was like any other until the conductor refused to take money from her in exchange for a ticket. “Humko maloom nahin tha ki abhsey kiraya nahi dena parega, jab woh (conductor) ne bola ab say paisa nahi dena padega, main chonk gaye. Yeh bohat acha khabar hai humare liye. (I had no idea that from now on I won’t have to pay the fare. When the conductor refused to take the money, I was surprised. This is good news),” Devi told this newspaper.
ALSO READ: Two lakh Delhi women avail free bus rides
Exactly, a month back, Kejriwal had announced that his government would make travel free for women in DTC and cluster buses from the festival of Bhai Dooj.
He had also proposed to make metro commute free for women in the city but this proposition faced severe backlash from the opposition.
From young girls to older women, everyone expressed their gratitude to the government for this move.
“This is going to change the lives of countless women. I travel between Khanpur and Defence Colony every day. I had heard about the news of free travel on TV, but couldn’t believe it until the conductor didn’t charge me for my ticket. I hope they’ll cooperate and extend it from here on,” said Shivani Rawat.
However, not everyone was happy with the new service. Some complained about the lack of frequency of buses in certain areas.
“We have been waiting for the bus for half an hour. They must increase the service of buses to ensure that women can commute in them to truly utilise the scheme,” said Abha Kumari who was travelling to Prahladpur, a trip which costs her Rs 15.