Delhi Metro free rides: Sreedharan slams “election gimmick”; says efficiency of network will be destroyed

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Published: June 24, 2019 12:08:45 PM

The man behind building the Delhi Metro network has urged the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government not to destroy the efficient and successful public transport system of the national capital for electoral gains.

delhi metroSreedharan, who is also serving as the principal adviser to DMRC, said that no metro system in the world has extended free travel facility exclusively to women.

Free Delhi Metro rides for women: Delhi government’s proposal of free travel for women in Delhi Metro is an “election gimmick”!, Metro Man E Sreedharan has said. The man behind building the Delhi Metro network has urged the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government not to destroy the efficient and successful public transport system of the national capital for electoral gains. The former chief of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), in a letter sent to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, mentioned that free travel for women commuters will worsen overcrowding and will lead to mishaps.

According to a PTI report, in the letter, Sreedharan said that he is not opposing the state government’s proposal to bear the cost of free travel for women. However, he is against the concept of free travel in a metro. If metro travelling is made free for women, then what about more deserving categories such as senior citizens, students and disabled persons, he has asked. Sreedharan, who is also serving as the principal adviser to DMRC, said that no metro system in the world has extended free travel facility exclusively to women.

According to Sreedharan, any compensation paid by the Delhi government to DMRC, is tax-payers’ money and it is the right of the tax payer to question why only women passengers are being given free travel. Moreover, he pointed to the liability faced by the Delhi Metro as well as the implications the proposal might have on it. His objection is to the idea of enabling free travel to any section of the society, till the time loans taken by the corporation (now outstanding around Rs 35,000 crore) are serviced and paid back, the former DMRC Chief wrote.

Before opposing the AAP government’s proposal, Sreedharan had urged PM Narendra Modi not to agree to the free travel scheme as it would set alarming precedence. In a letter sent to the Prime Minister earlier, he had stated that if the AAP government is so keen to help women passengers, it can pay the travel cost directly to them rather than making travel free on Delhi Metro, the report said.

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