SC slams Kejriwal govt over free rides for women

The Supreme Court today came down heavily on AAP government in Delhi for its decision to give free metro rides to women in the national capital, asserting that it would make Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) an “unprofitable venture”.

“Why you (Delhi government) are trying to give a free ride to women in metro trains? If you give a free ride to women, the DMRC will become an unprofitable venture,” said a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta.

In June earlier this year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had proposed free ride for women on all DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi Metro trains. He had said that the proposal will be implemented within two to three months based on the feedback and suggestions from the public. The Delhi Cabinet is yet to give its assent to the scheme.

The bench told the state government to properly use public money and refrain from giving free sops to people. The apex court’s observation came on a petition filed by advocate M C Mehta with respect to the expansion of the fourth phase of the metro project in the state.

Taking cognizance of the petition, the court directed the Central and Delhi government to work out modalities and release Rs 2,447.19 crore of land cost for Phase IV metro within a week. It also asked the Centre to bear 50 per cent of the cost of the land for this purpose.

On March 8 earlier this year, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved three of the six corridors proposed under Phase-IV of the Delhi Metro.

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