Renuka Viswanathan, a former principal advisor to the Planning Commission has written to PM Modi, highlighting the benefits of the free rides proposal. She contested the Karnataka state polls 2018 representing the Aam Aadmi Party.
Free Delhi Metro rides for women: Days after Metro Man E Sreedharan wrote to PM Narendra Modi criticising the Delhi government’s proposal to make Delhi Metro rides free for women, a former bureaucrat has written to the Prime Minister supporting Kejriwal government’s move. According to an IE report, Renuka Viswanathan, a former principal advisor to the Planning Commission has written to PM Modi, highlighting the benefits of the free rides proposal. Incidentally, Renuka Viswanathan, contested the Karnataka state polls 2018 representing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The bureaucrat has said that the Delhi government’s proposal for making public transport free for women will help in safeguarding the interest of women within the unequal social and economic system. Through her letter she also countered E Sreedharan’s arguments against the move. E Sreedharan is the chief architect of the Delhi Metro network.
Viswanathan stated in the letter that implementing the proposal will reinforce the participation of women in the workforce, increase their income levels and will also lead to a rise in the revenue of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Through her letter, she also sought to counter E Sreedharan’s arguments against the move and stated that administrators and economists usually prefer to avoid subsidies as they distort the market signals as well as pricing mechanisms. She added that they know that most of the markets are already distorted because the buyers and sellers do not have equal access to information. She emphasized that all governments must use subsidies to support the weaker groups and develop a level playing field.
Meanwhile, according to an earlier report, E Sreedharan stated that the consequences of the scheme will create an impact on all other metro networks across the country. He also termed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s argument that the Delhi government would be able to reimburse the revenue losses to the DMRC as “a poor solace”. Sreedharan also explained that the DMRC is a joint venture of the Central government and the Delhi government, hence one shareholder cannot take a unilateral decision to provide concession to one section of the community, pushing the Delhi Metro into bankruptcy and inefficiency.