Arvind Kejriwal’s free bus ride scheme gets thumbs-up from women commuters! But there’s a catch

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Published: October 29, 2019 6:32 PM

The Delhi government has made an arrangement of Rs 150 crore to meet the expenses incurred for the scheme until March next year.

DTC, free ride scheme, free bus ridesDelhi polls, Punjabi Bagh, Arvind Kejriwal, DTC buses, free-ride scheme, Delhi High Court, delhi governementNisha Kiran Jaiswal, a homemaker and resident of Punjabi Bagh, said the move will encourage more women to take buses. (IE photo)

Most women commuters on Tuesday hailed the Delhi government’s move to provide free ride to them in DTC and cluster buses, saying it will encourage them to take public transport, ensure their safety and help them save money at the same time.

There was, however, a section of women commuters who questioned the sustainability of the scheme, saying it comes nearly three months ahead of Delhi polls, and wondered whether the next government will continue this programme.
Nisha Kiran Jaiswal, a homemaker and resident of Punjabi Bagh, said the move will encourage more women to take buses.

“It is definitely a good initiative. Now, it would be more convenient for women to travel. This will encourage more women to take the bus. We will feel more safe. Bus is my regular mode of transport. I drop my children to school in bus,” she said.

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Anikta Upadhyay, another homemaker, suggested the scheme should be extended to Delhi Metro. “Personally, it is a good scheme by Arvind Kejriwal and more women will start using DTC buses,” Upadhyay said. The scheme, launched on Tuesday, has made commuting for women free in Delhi Transport Corporation and cluster buses.

The Delhi government has made an arrangement of Rs 150 crore to meet the expenses incurred for the scheme until March next year. Anuradha Ghosh, who works as a domestic help, said the scheme will benefit the poor as many a time there is no money to commute. She said this will also end the hassles of not having exact change to buy tickets.
Nandita Jha, a college student and resident of Karol Bagh, said the free-ride scheme will also make women feel safer.

“I prefer taking bus over metro because metros are over-crowded with office-goers during the morning hours. With free-ride scheme, many women will feel free to travel in buses and one would feel more safe to commute,” Jha said.
Chand Mishra, another college student, said many college-going women used to spend a major chunk of their pocket money on bus fares. “After this step, I will be able to save money and can spend it somewhere else,” she said. However, there were some who questioned the timing to launch the scheme and also the cost incurred to fund the initiative.

Kritika Sethi, a private employee, said the move will put an extra burden on the Delhi government. “Many people are praising this step by the government, but if we look at the other side of the story, we will get to know many things. This move will put extra burden on the government. Women will start using buses due to which metro, which is already under debt, would lose its passengers,” Sethi said.

Janakpuri resident Savitri Devi, who works in the Delhi High Court, questioned the sustainability of the scheme. “Elections are scheduled in next few months. So will these schemes implemented by the current government be taken forward by the successive government,” she asked.

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