The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Arvind Kejriwal government’s proposal on free Delhi Metro rides for women. The top court said that such scheme will lead to huge losses. A bench of Justice Arun Mishra said that people’s money should be utilised judicially. It also said that the government should refrain from such free gifts. The Supreme Court also directed that the operational loss, if any, in the 103.94 km long Phase IV of the Delhi Metro project would be borne by the Delhi government it is a mode of conveyance in the national capital. The apex court said that the Delhi government is bound to ensure that the financial health of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is maintained properly and no steps are taken that might result in losses.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta asked the authorities concerned to ensure that no delay is caused in the Phase IV metro project and the total land cost of Rs 2,447.19 crore is released forthwith. Last month, the Delhi Assembly had passed the AAP government's supplementary demands for grants of Rs 290 crore for free travel for women passengers in buses and metro trains. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also tabled a proposal of supplementary demands for grants of Rs 142 crore to fund deployment of marshals in buses and Rs 47 crore for the regional rapid transit system corridors, which were approved with a voice of votes. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had, in his Independence Day address, announced that rides on DTC and cluster buses would be free for women from October 29.
However, the Centre has already rejected Delhi government's proposed scheme for free metro and bus travel for women in the city. Asked if the Union Government has any proposal regarding free rides for women in Delhi Metro trains, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in Lok Sabha said they did not have one. The question was asked by Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament on Thursday.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was established by the Government of India and the Government of Delhi in March 1995 for building a new metro system in the capital. The project was carried out in phases including phase one (65.11km) and phase two (124.9km).