Supreme Court has a “Problem” with Delhi government’s scheme that allows free metro rail rides to women

Delhi government’s scheme allowing women to travel for free on the metro rail network has come under heavy criticism from the Supreme Court.

Taking a dig at the plan, Justice Deepak Gupta — one of the judges on the Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “If you allow people to travel free then it will be a problem.. if there are freebies then there will be a problem.”

“State is responsible for transport. We find nothing objectionable in case the metro suffers losses to be borne by the state as metro is a conveyance within the state and considering the nature of the facility the losses, if any, to be borne by state to ensure policies which do not cause any operational loss or otherwise to the running of the metro …hence we do not find any substance in this objection,” the bench observed.

The top court also observed that the financial health of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation or DMRC is maintained properly and no steps are taken that might result in losses. The observation by the bench came after the Delhi government objected to sharing losses with the centre.

The court directed that the land cost for the 103.94-km-long Phase IV project would be borne by the centre and the Delhi government equally, in 50:50 ratio. The bench 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 within three weeks.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in his Independent Day address announced that rides on DTC and cluster buses would be free for women from October 29. The Delhi assembly has passed the government’s supplementary demands for grants of Rs. 290 crore for free travel for women passengers in buses and metro trains.

Source : Various

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