The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) plans to implement the free metro service in the short term by making tokens compulsory for those women commuters wishing to avail the offer.
Free Delhi Metro, DTC rides for women! To roll out the scheme, the Delhi Metro has sought advance subsidy money from the Delhi government. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) plans to implement the free metro service in the short term by making tokens compulsory for those women commuters wishing to avail the offer. In a letter to DMRC, Managing Director Mangu Singh has sought details of the financial impact of the free metro scheme for the present year as well as for the next five years, considering the increase in overall Delhi Metro ridership due to the decision. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had directed the transport department to put up a Cabinet note on the proposal by June 11, 2019.
On Thursday, the first meeting on the issue was held involving the DMRC, Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). According to official sources quoted in an IE report, in a detailed power-point presentation to the Transport Commissioner, the DMRC offered short- and long-term plans in order to execute the plan.
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According to the sources, the Delhi Metro needs a year at least to implement the proposal properly. Though, they also have an alternative for implementation in the next two to four months. In this case, the Delhi Metro has proposed that women commuters wishing to avail the offer get tokens from station counters for which they will not have to pay. With this, the DMRC will also be able to keep count of women passengers availing the free metro facility and the cost incurred. But the corporation wants the subsidy money to be paid in advance, the sources said.
According to Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi government will give around a sum of Rs 700-800 crore as total subsidy to the DMRC, DIMTS, and DTC if the exemption scheme is rolled out for around six months this year. The DMRC also said that it will have to assess the cost involved in augmenting the capacity of counters since it has largely scrapped the over-the-counter sale of tokens. The sources added that in the long term, the corporation eyes integrating smart cards and biometric identification, which is already in the works to provide rebates to students and senior citizens.
The DMRC has been told that since the execution of the latest free metro service proposal will not lead to any changes in its fare structure, the Delhi government, which along with the Centre, is an equal equity partner in the DMRC, is well within its rights to implement the plan, more because it has promised to provide full subsidy, the report said.
Meanwhile, to implement the proposal, the DTC and the management of cluster buses have proposed that special women passes or colour-coded tickets be introduced.