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Free ride scheme for women not feasible: Puri; Sisodia hits back

NEW DELHI: Taking a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his proposed scheme to allow free travel in buses and Delhi Metro for women, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday raised doubts over the feasibility of the scheme by saying that it's not possible to implement. Hitting back at Puri, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi government has a proper plan and also the money to finance the project.

On the sidelines of a Press conference organised to launch Swachh Survekshan League 2020, the Union Minister said, "It's a Kejriwal's jumla as he has no plan in mind for its implementation."

"Kejriwal has no plan in mind. This metro and bus freebie is just a jumla," Puri said, adding that the plan is not feasible. "Kejriwal has confused people because this is not how you give schemes. Central govt needs to be on board. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) didn't get any proposal from the Delhi government. Also, Delhi government is already running out of funds and they are debt. I don't know how Kejriwal is planning to give metro rides for free," the Union Minister said.

The Delhi Metro comes under the Delhi government as well as under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Hardeep Singh Puri has recently been given the portfolio of Civil Aviation. In the earlier BJP term, Puri served as the Housing and Urban Affairs minister, a role he has retained in the new cabinet.

Hitting back at Puri, Delhi's Deputy CM Sisodia said, "With all due respect I want to tell Hardeep Singh Puri that the government of Delhi has both plan and money for the free metro and bus rides for the women of Delhi. I just request him to smile and give his blessings. Give your blessings for the people of Delhi and women of Delhi. Delhi government will implement it in a very good manner."

The Deputy CM futher said, "We have conducted several official meetings over the issue in the last three-four days. The Transport Minister met officials of the transport and metro department during the last days. I and the Chief Minister also had meetings over the issue. We are coming up with a very good scheme for the scheme. We are also receiving various feedbacks from the people of Delhi. Once finalized we will share the plan with you."

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