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From 29 October, women can travel for free on Delhi buses

August 16, 2019

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that women will ride for free on Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses from 29 October, which is bhai dooj. The announcement comes a little over two months after the Chief Minister revealed plans to provide women with free rides on the Delhi Metro, DTC and cluster bus services.

With Assembly elections due in Delhi in 2020, Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had said in June that it planned to make metro and bus rides free for women to encourage them to use public transport for their safety.

On the day of Raksha Bandhan, I want to give (a) gift to our sisters that there will be free rides for women on all DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) and cluster buses from October 29, which will ensure their safety. - Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister

The announcement in June had come days after the 2019 Lok Sabha election results. The AAP, which has been ruling Delhi since 2015, lost all seven Lok Sabha seats to the BJP.

Kejriwal also said the cost of the progamme would be borne by the government and said that those who could afford to buy tickets should do so.

But there may be challenges in implementing the scheme. Transport Department officials say that while allowing free travel on DTC and cluster buses is possible, this will be hard for the Metro. With the Delhi government and the Centre equal partners in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation the disagreements over financing may make it difficult.

Earlier, the BJP had said that Kejriwal had lost his mental balance in announcing such a scheme. "Now such announcements will keep coming from the ghoshna mantra (announcement chief minister). Arvind Kejriwal has lost his mental balance," Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief, said.

Metro and bus users also took to Twitter to share doubts. "Metro is from certain point to another point - we have to take auto/bus in the night to reach home," a user pointed out, questioning the logic of free travel on the Delhi Metro.



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