Metro man requests PM not to agree to Delhi govt's free travel scheme for women
NEW DELHI: In a blow to Arvind Kejriwal's proposal to make Delhi Metro rides free for women, "Metro Man" E Sreedharan has criticised the move. The former Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief E Sreedharan, who was considered as the main architect of the lifeline of Delhi-NCR, has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to agree to the proposal made by the Delhi Chief Minister. He has said that if the Delhi Metro free rides scheme is implemented it would set "alarming precedence".
According to report, Sreedharan has written to PM Modi seeking the latter's intervention in the matter. He also said if Kejriwal-led AAP government in the national capital are "so keen" to help women commuters, it should pay the expenses of their (women's) travel directly to them instead of making travel free on metro trains.
Sreedharan asserted that ahead of the opening of the first section (Tis Hazari to Shahdara on Red Line) of the Delhi Metro in 2002, he had taken a bold move that no travel concession would be extended to anyone.
In the letter, Sreedharan wrote, "I would very earnestly request you, sir, not to agree to the Delhi government's proposal of free travel to ladies in the Metro. If the Delhi government is so keen to help lady commuters, I would suggest the Delhi government can pay directly to the lady commuters the cost of their travel rather than make travel free on the Metro."
AAP Chief Spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj replied upon viewpoint of Sreedharan "We want to assure that Delhi Metro will not suffer any losses since the Delhi government will reimburse the agency for free rides taken by women, thus eliminating the possibility of inefficiency."
Sreedharan believes that Delhi government should transfer the subsidy amount directly into accounts of travellers. Bhardwaj contricted that this is not a practical solution. There is no way to determine precisely making it impossible to calculate the direct subsidy transfer needed to reimburse travel for women.
The former DMRC chief said that the consequences of this scheme will have an impact on all other metros in the country. He also termed Kejriwal's argument that the Delhi government would reimburse the revenue losses to the DMRC as "a poor solace".