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Stop with the poll gimmick of providing free travel for women in Delhi Metro: E Sreedharan writes to Sisodia

NEW DELHI: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) principal advisor E Sreedharan on Friday wrote back to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia telling him that his protest against the Delhi government's proposal to allow free travel for women in Delhi Metro will continue until the loan that the DMRC has taken for the metro is paid off. Sreedharan, who is also known as Metro Man, also slammed the proposal calling it a poll gimmick by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). AAP hits back immediately claiminng his statements are 'political'.

Sreedharan argued that the AAP-led government might compensate the metro for losses due to free travel to women but successor governments may not and then DMRC will not be able to reverse this decision which will lead to further debt, which already stands at Rs 35,000 crore.

He also took on AAP's suggestion that free travel to women in the metro will provide security to them. Sreedharan asked what about the security of women once they step out of metro and encounter lurking dangers on the road. He then suggested that the Delhi government should work on traffic congestion and safety on roads rather than providing free travel to them. "I would, therefore, appeal to your government not to destroy an efficient and successful public transport system such as Delhi Metro for electoral gains," he concluded his letter. Retaliating to E Sreedharan's letter, AAP leader Atishi said that it is impossible for her to believe that a man like Sreedharan is talking like a BJP spokesperson.

Earlier on June 14, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to Sreedharan, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) advisor, explaining him the financial benefits of providing free rides to women in Delhi Metro and requesting him to soften his stance against the Delhi government's proposal. In his letter, Manish Sisodia said that he was surprised and pained by E Sreedharan's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing Delhi government's proposal to allow free ridership for women in the DMRC trains.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader explained that DMRC is catering to an average ridership of less than 25 lakh whereas the total

capacity of the Delhi Metro is 40 lakh passengers daily. He argued that the metro is running at less than 65 per cent efficiency while the rest of the metro is lying idle.

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