NEW DELHI: Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh defended his government’s move to provide free Metro rides to women. Taking a veiled dig at BJP, Singh said that loans are given to business owners who later on do not return but many questions are raised when someone wants to help out the common people. The AAP Rajya Sabha MP stated that the Delhi government was not the first to provide free travel for women in public transport, be it in metro and buses.
“Across the world, many nations have made public transport free for commuters. Instead of appreciating the first such step being taken in the country, questions with a negative attitude are hurled at us. This move will help the city in lowering the pollution and will even increase the revenue of the DMRC,” he said, joining the list of AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Saurabh Bharadwaj to defend the government.
“As Delhi suffers a lot from air pollution, this measure of the government will help in putting a lot of vehicles off the road. Many questions are being raised…that this decision will hit the DMRC’s revenue, but that is not just true. When the government is reimbursing the entire subsidy amount, then what is the reason for this opposition? We all respect the ‘Metro Man’, but it seems he is under pressure,” Singh added.
Incidentally, Sreedharan had asserted if Kejriwal wanted to go ahead with the scheme, he must put money directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries. One shareholder (Delhi govt) cannot take a unilateral decision to give a concession, he said. The AAP government has already initiated a process for getting suggestions from the public regarding the free transport scheme.
On Friday, former DMRC chief E Sreedharan had warned that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ambitious plan to provide free metro rides to women will drive the transport system towards inefficiency and bankruptcy. He wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to agree to the proposal. Taking a cue from the letter, the BJP and the Congress went on to suggest the chief minister pay heed to the points flagged off by the ‘Metro Man’.