New Delhi: After Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plan for making metro rides free from women got stonewalled, the Centre said it will soon announce concession in Delhi Metro fares for students and senior citizens. A technology-based solution has been found which can implement this easily, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri told news agency PTI in an interview.
Currently, no discount on fares is offered for any category of passengers on the Delhi Metro.
“We are ready with a technology-based solution to provide relief to students and senior citizens travelling on metro trains. The central government will implement it appropriately,” Puri said.
But how different is this scheme from the one proposed by the Delhi CM? The Union minister said that the Central scheme would be need-based.
“Our scheme will also cover most girl students and female senior citizens. We want to implement it through a technology-based solution so that there is no misuse of the facility,” he said.
The Delhi government and the Centre are in 50:50 partnership in DMRC.
After Kejriwal announced his plan to make rides free for women, the Supreme Court observed that it would not be a profitable venture. The apex court even asked the AAP government to make proper use of public money and refrain from offering free sops to people.
“On one hand it (Delhi government) is extending sops but in court, it wants direction to centre to bear 50% operational losses, if incurred. If you allow people to travel free then it will be a problem,” the court had said.
According to the Union minister, the central government will extend the relief to passengers of other categories after public consultation. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had announced fare-hike in two phases in 2017 after a gap of nine years.
(With PTI inputs)