Former head of the Delhi Metro, E Sreedharan, has opposed the Aam Aadmi Party-ed government’s plan to offer free tickets to women in the city’s underground trains. Sreedharan, known as the Metro Man, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to not approve the Arvind Kejriwal government’s proposal since this had the potential to push the Delhi Metro in to ‘inefficiency and bankruptcy.’
Sreedharan in his letter said that the Delhi government should have paid the money directly to women instead of making their travel in metro trains free. Seeking Modi’s intervention, Sreedharan reminded that when the first section of the Delhi Metro was to be opened in 2002, he had taken a firm decision that no one would be given travel concession.
“If the Delhi government is so keen to help lady commuters, I would suggest Delhi government can pay directly to the lady commuters the cost of their travel rather than make travel free on the Metro,” Sreedharan was quoted by news agency PTI.
Sreedharan, according to PTI, had said that even the then prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee had bought a ticket himself to travel on the day of the first train’s inauguration.
Earlier this month Kejriwal had said that his government was working on a plan to make metro and bus travels free for women in Delhi. This, he had said, was to ‘encourage them to use public transport.’
“The government is considering to waive the fare for women in DTC buses and Delhi Metro to encourage them to use public transport in view of their safety. An announcement in this regard will be made on June 3,” Kejriwal had said.
Delhi BJP chief had attacked Kejriwal for his proposal by mocking the Delhi chief minister as ghoshnamantri (announcement minister).