The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced free metro rides operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and all buses operated by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on all the routes for women all across the national capital. AAP claims that their mega project will ensure the safety of women.
There are an estimated of 30 lakh commuters that use the Delhi metro every day out of which 25% are women which means 7.6 lakh women commuters-per-day.
For the sake of calculating the loss to exchequer, we take the maximum fare of Rs 60 per commuter which takes the figure to over Rs 4.56 crore for Delhi Metro alone.
Similarly, an average 42 lakh commuters use buses daily out of 20% are women which take the number of daily women commuters to 8.4 lakh. Assuming the maximum fare of Rs 25 for a bus ticket, the daily loss to the Delhi government per-day form Arvind Kejriwal’s proposal would come to 2.1 crore.
So, the total hit that the Delhi government is expected to take form the move will come to Rs 6.6 crore-per-day which comes to about Rs 198 crore-a-month.
While announcing the move, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the move is expected to cost Rs 700 crore to the Delhi government till the end of the year. He also said the state government will “bear the expenses” of the project. He added that the Delhi government was not required to take permission from the Centre to implement the scheme which was yet to get clearance from the requisite authorities.
This decision also raises few strong questions on its implementation.
According to Arvind Kejriwal, this ‘free ride’ facility for women would cost around Rs 700 crore to the state exchequer. How does Delhi government arrive at this figure? Does Delhi metro have an updated or any figure of its female commuters, based on which the exact amount of loss that DMRC has to bear (in case of the implementation of this scheme) can be ascertained?
The Delhi government and the Central government are 50:50 equity partner in Delhi Metro Rail Service (DMRC). In this context how the Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal can take this decision unilaterally?
How is Delhi government planning to manage the sudden surge in the traffic that will be the natural outcome of this “free ride” scheme?
According to Kejriwal, the reason for putting forward this proposal of allowing free ride for female commuters is to ensure their safety. The question that needs to be asked here is that in which way the “free ride” can ensure safety for women. How are these two linked?
The most important questions that need to be asked is whether the targeted beneficiaries — female commuters, really need this. It does not require much to deduce a simple fact that most of the women travelling in the metro are working women and they can very well pay for their ticket. Allowing “free ride” to them only accentuates gender stereotypes and enforces gender inequality.
Last question- If #DelhiMetro will be free for Women then who will responsible in DMRC loss ?
Personal Views Of Author
Why every decision is based on gender/caste? What if a man can’t afford? What if a woman has enough money but will get it for free? Stop making stupid decisions that widen the gender/caste gaps. Only give facilities to the needy. Be it women or men.
This decision is an outcome of general election emphatic defeat. It would be good politically motivated enterprise but we got to reflect that who would bear the loss of metro.
India will crumble if people just get everything for free without paying and working hard. Reduced prices on tickets is all way better than this. How does travelling for free of cost ensure safety? Next in queue will be senior citizens then war widows then army personnel’s and then SC/ST then OBC.
If anyone should ride free it should be elderly and disabled not women.